Nobody reaches their full potential alone; which is why having a career mentor is so incredibly important. Today, I’m going to talk about the other side and reveal how rewarding it can be to share your experience with future generations.
It’s more than just teaching
Mentoring is an exchange, but it’s so much more than just that. When you’re at the top of your game, it’s your responsibility to help others get there. It’s a relationship that should be built on trust and integrity. You need to genuinely care about the success of the people you’re working with. And, most importantly, the most useful thing you have to offer is your time and experience.
Practice your own skills
When learning new ideas or skills most people focus on theory, and don’t actually put it into practice. Even fewer people actually go on to teach other people those skills. By becoming a mentor, you’re actually reinforcing your own skills and giving them back to the community–a crucial step in any career.
Even as experts there will always be new ways to approach a topic. It’s important to be able to adapt to new viewpoints. Explaining a new concept to someone who doesn’t understand it can help reinforce your own core skills at the same time.
People come from different backgrounds and have different experiences. As a mentor you can help them learn from their own points of view.
For me this has been incredibly true when teaching coding; there are often many ways of achieving the same result, and there doesn’t need to always be a best answer. As I interact with developers of all skill levels I’ve found that I can help myself adapt to new methods of thinking that improve my own skills as well.
Improve your soft skills
Think back to a time in your life when you have worked with someone who was technically gifted but had no social skills. It was probably a miserable experience.
We pay a lot of attention to learning hard-skills (writing code, developing requirements, managing tasks, etc.) but it is arguably more important for your career to improve your soft-skills (communication, problem-solving, relationship building, etc.) It is how well you improve these soft skills that will set you apart from your peers and help you manage career success.
Whether you are preparing for a job interview, or looking to land a promotion, or simply looking to expand your skills in place, becoming a mentor will make you better suited for success.
Build real relationships
There is no better way to make a lasting impression on someone than by demonstrating how your experience can improve their lives. Becoming a mentor is the perfect way to prove your abilities.
Through mentorship you are constantly and repeatedly shaping the way you interact with others. You are constantly learning and adapting to their unique needs while building trust and rapport.
Boost your future potential
If you are looking for a new role, it helps to boost your chances of getting your foot in the door if you can prove that you have skills and experiences that other team members can benefit from.
Demonstrating that you have the ability to help others grow, is the single greatest asset you can provide.