Some people climb up the ranks learning the ins and outs of their chosen industry on their own. But more often than not, behind every successful individual is a great mentor. A mentor is someone who guides and pushes you to attain your professional goals. He or she is the person who teaches you the tricks of the trade, based on many years of experience in the industry. A mentor can be your boss, a friend, or maybe even both.
Finding a great mentor can be life changing. Not only do they contribute a lot to our professional growth, you also get to learn from each other. Here are 10 lessons you’ll learn from an awesome mentor:
1. Look out for your people.
No matter what industry you’re in, you need to know how to build relationships with other people. A good mentor will check up on you, understand you, and show genuine concern for your well-being. He or she will exhibit an interest on your welfare while still maintaining a level of professionalism.
2. Have a healthy and balanced life.
You can have all the power and success in the world, but without a family or friends to come home to, your success won’t mean anything. A good mentor will teach you how to have a healthy balance between your personal life and professional life. After all, they are both important.
3. Learn to take risks.
Because how would you know if you don’t try, right? Just like how they say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, you need to keep an open mind about things in the work place. You need to take risks. And if things turn out awry, at least you get to learn from the experience.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
A great mentor will be open to helping you when you ask questions. So don’t be afraid to ask someone who has been in the same position as where you are now. There is nothing wrong or embarrassing with asking for advice or clearing things out.
5. Aim high.
Setting a high standard for yourself will help you do your tasks well. There is no room for sub-par performance in the workplace. You have to make sure that all aspects of the situation or task have been looked at and that everything has been smoothed out.
6. Never get tired of learning.
It’s important to broaden your horizons and update yourself with the latest trends in your industry, and that’s why your mentor puts a premium on learning. One way to do this is to take a post-graduate degree or to enlist in short-term courses, but that doesn’t mean learning is solely confined in the classroom. Always find ways to improve yourself and be better at your job.
7. Learn through experience.
A great mentor will give you room to do things on your own. He or she won’t give you the answer to your problems. You have to find the answer yourself. Don’t expect your mentor to give you the easy way out when you’re in a pinch, as facing challenges on your own will help you grow.
8. Adaptation is key.
You’ll encounter different kinds of people in the office. And even if you don’t like some of your colleagues at work, you’ll need to adapt and work with them. You also have to be flexible when it comes to tasks. If what you submitted didn’t make the cut, you have to adapt to your boss’s standard and push yourself to meet it. Every great mentor will tell you so, because in some way, they adapt to you too.
9. Have clear communication lines.
A good mentor is honest. In the same way, you have to maintain open communication lines not just with your mentor, but with all of your colleagues and clients. Remember though, that how you communicate counts. Be sensitive to other people’s feelings, and make sure that you don’t come across as arrogant whenever you’re suggesting points for improvement.
10. Have foresight.
If you observe your mentor well, you will notice how he or she can identify possible problems in a jiffy. One of the things you’ll learn from a great mentor is how to have a quick eye for these kinds of possibilities. You just need to be observant with how they do it. You also need to have a good attention to detail. And we mean even the tiniest details. This is so you could fix things even before you execute the action. That way, everything will go according to plan.