January is National Mentoring Month, and there are many reasons to celebrate. Take a few minutes to thank your mentor for supporting your career development. If you work with students, share this post with them, and ask them to consider the important role that mentors play in their lives now and in the future.
Here are five reasons a good mentor deserves your gratitude:
- Your mentor gives you honest feedback to help you grow. Is your resume weak? Are you lacking a critical skill that could move you ahead? A good mentor isn't afraid to tell you the truth. But guess what, you can also learn from their mistakes. Pick your mentor's brain for advice on how to avoid the many pitfalls and perils that can sabotage a career. "Do as I say, not as I do" takes on a whole new meaning in the context of work. You'll have plenty of chances to make your own mistakes. Take advantage of learning key lessons from them. And take comfort in knowing you won't make the same mistakes they've made.
- Your mentor sings your praises. This person is your champion and cheering section. As your advocate, he or she can serve as a reference, endorse you on LinkedIn, and recommend you for opportunities where you'll have a chance to shine.
- Your mentor expands your network. The helpful hand extended by a good mentor can can expand your professional network in big ways. This person connects you to new people, prospects, and places. Allow them to open a few doors for you and make warm introductions whenever possible.
- Your mentor models winning behaviors and life skills. Listen to and watch your mentor – closely. A good mentor sets an example in words and actions. Emulate your mentor.
- Your mentor encourages you to set and reach your goals. A good mentor is invested in your success. He or she weighs in to help you prioritize and establish goals — and helps fuel your drive to pursue them. Check in with your mentor often to help you stay on track.