Did you know that January is National Mentorship Month? This January is the 20th anniversary of the first National Mentorship Month, started in 2002 by MENTOR National and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The goal of National Mentorship Month is to shed light on how mentoring can benefit youth, as well as bring positive outcomes to organizations doing the mentoring.
In honor of National Mentorship Month, here are five of the benefits of mentorship.
1. Mentees learn from the mentor’s career roadmap
Beginning a career can feel very overwhelming. There are often a lot of unanswered questions: Where do I want to be in five years? What title do I want? What kind of company do I want to work at? Without someone to look up to, it’s easy to feel lost in it all.
With a mentor, mentees are able to ask questions and learn about their career path. Not to say that a mentee should directly copy the career path of the mentor, but it can be helpful to see concrete examples of the steps the mentor took to get where they are. Plus, the mentor can act as a sounding board for brainstorming future career goals.
2. Mentees grow their self-confidence
Mentorship provides mentees with an extra boost of self-confidence that many young people often lack. When mentees are feeling doubt about some work they’ve done, a decision they have to make, or anything else, they can go to their mentor for guidance. Eventually, they’ll need to reach out to their mentor less and less because they’ve learned how to feel secure in their own decisions.
3. Mentees gain new perspectives
Sometimes, when young people are starting their careers, they’ll stick to spending time with other people their own age or level. While this can feel comforting, they’ll miss out on getting a variety of different perspectives that only people with more experience can offer.
Maybe when the mentor was younger, things were a little different on the job market. While that experience might not be directly relevant to the mentee, it can help them see how other people higher up might be thinking about things, which will help to broaden their perspectives.
4. Mentors become better listeners
Mentorship doesn’t only benefit the mentee. It can help benefit the mentor as well. By mentoring, mentors learn how to listen to the thoughts, perspectives, and needs of someone at a different age or level than them. They can learn to stop making assumptions and actively listen to what the mentee needs.
Learning how to be a better listener doesn’t only benefit the mentee, it can also benefit anyone that the mentor currently works with, especially in a team environment.
5. Mentors learn how to become leaders
One of the best ways to learn how to be a good leader is to actually lead people. Being a mentor provides a great way for mentors to learn how to be effective leaders. Instead of being thrown head-first into leading a full team, mentors can work their way up by practicing leadership skills on a mentee, or maybe a small team of mentees, first.
The act of mentorship itself is a lot like leadership. It requires delivering feedback, asking thought-provoking questions, listening, and communicating. All of these skills together create a worthwhile leader.
Become a Udacity Mentor
Being a mentor is an incredibly rewarding experience. At Udacity, being a mentor to Nanodegree students provides you with an opportunity to learn even more than you did in your courses, connect with other students, grow in your technical prowess, and even earn money.
Learn more about how to become a mentor at Udacity today!