If you were to look up the definition of “Mentor” in the dictionary you would learn the meaning of the word is defined as a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.
To me a mentor is someone that you can go to for advice in specific situations. They are a trusted individual that you can lean on and gain direction from. Mentors are able to understand the position you are in and help guide you one way or the other.
Through years of college I remember people telling me that I should find some mentors to help me with my pending career. I thought this was a waste of time and just assumed I could do it all on my own. I was wrong. It wasn’t until I graduated college and landed a job the hard way that I was able to start really putting some stock in the mentor relationship.
Today I can say that I have multiple people that I can consider my mentors. They have given me guidance on my career, what to do next, and how to handle specific situations. I hold these people’s opinions on high and trust them when I need some re-assurance and direction. Because of a mentor of mine, I was able to head into my career path and without listening to some of that guidance, I’m not sure where I would have ended up.
I also believe in paying this forward by making myself available for those who are seeking advice. Being a mentor takes time but it also creates a sense of fulfillment for those who are looking for guidance. I know that I wouldn’t have reached the peaks in my career without guidance and direction from those mentors of mine. I want to be sure and give this same level of insight to anyone who may seek it on a consistent basis.
The mentor relationship is important inside the office space too. Consider pairing up a new hire with a peer who can provide guidance on both the inner dealings of the office and how to handle customer situations as need be. The mentor also will receive fulfillment both from being looked at as a leader but also by developing strong internal relationships.
Never discount the importance of a mentor. If you think you can do it all without any solid guidance, then odds are you haven’t done anything yet.