Mentoring is seen as a life-changing, beneficial experience for those being mentored, but rarely do mentors know the true impact the experience will have on their own lives. What many mentors just starting out don’t know is that mentoring promotes a ton of benefits for mentors in their personal and professional lives.
The personal benefits in mentoring range from person to person. Such benefits include: satisfaction in helping another succeed, developing an appreciation and respect for another culture or lifestyle and creating your own legacy.
To maximize personal benefits, start by keeping a journal. This will help you reflect on your feelings about the relationship and the impact you are making. This also makes it easier to track and consider all of the successes in the mentoring relationship. You can also write about the lessons you have learned from the experience and from your mentee. Ask your mentee what they enjoy about the relationship and how they have been impacted by the experience. Also, save pieces of your mentoring experience, like pictures and notes to remind you of your relationship. Do something special for your mentee (write them a letter or give them a picture of the two of you) so they can remember the experience after the match is closed.
Besides making you feel good, mentoring can make you look good, especially in the professional sense. There are many ways that mentoring can help you develop skills and be successful in your profession.
Mentor training equips mentors with the skills they need to have a flourishing relationship with their mentees. Often times, these skills can be used in building a successful relationship with others in a social and workplace setting. Mentors may be taught communication skills and diversity and cultural awareness and sensitivity. Mentors may also learn how to set boundaries and how to solve problems effectively. These skills are critical in the workplace and an applicant who possesses these skills will have a leg up in the competition.
Mentoring also looks good on a resume- for two reasons. First, it shows that this person has leadership skills. It also shows that this person has undergone training and has volunteer experience. Second, a person who has been a mentor has also been through a screening process. This shows employers that you have had a background check already completed and that there was nothing there that would prevent your from working with children. This puts the employer’s mind at ease and may even save them all the work of completing a background check themselves.
You can also use your mentoring experience to draw examples when answering numerous questions at an interview for a job. Your experiences could show how you are a leader, how you solve problems and the strengths you possess.
Though volunteering to be a mentor may not pay, mentors will profit from the experience. However, you will not get the benefits of mentoring by doing nothing. Remember, one must do the work to reap the benefits.
Be involved. The more committed you are in the mentoring relationship, the more you benefits you will create. An appreciation comes with the amount of time and commitment you put into something. When you work hard, the benefits seem more important and special. Hard word pays off.
Be patient. You may not see instant results. Just as it takes time to build trust in your mentoring relationship, it also takes time to see the impact mentoring has made on you and your mentee. Results are almost never instant, but they will come.
Be positive. When you remain positive about your experience, no benefit is overlooked. Becoming negative about your experience will not only cause you to miss some of the benefits that are right in front of you, but can also rob you of the benefits you have already received. When you have a negative attitude, you are only discouraging yourself.
Be organized. Make sure to keep track of all your successes. Keep everything from your mentoring experience, which includes: training materials, articles about you and your mentee, notes, pictures, learning materials, projects, etc.
Though receiving and maximizing the benefits of mentoring is important, remember that you are there to help someone maximize their potential. This is the most significant part of mentoring and the one that pays off the most.