Besides New Year’s resolutions, here’s a way to get 2017 off to a great start: January is National Mentoring Month. Having a workplace mentor can encourage you to work harder and reach higher; in fact, one study found that 1 in 4 mentees had a salary grade change compared with 1 in 20 of their non-mentored co-workers.
So, who can have a mentor? Everyone! Individuals ranging from Mother Theresa to Mark Zuckerberg all count mentorship as one of the major players in their success.
In the workplace, from Millennials to Baby Boomers to the Greatest Generation, it’s never too late to reach out to someone who can help you reach your personal and professional goals. When looking for a mentor, there are a few important things to consider.
- You should look for an individual who motives you and who has achieved success in their field, someone you admire and respect.
- Keep in mind that a person’s title doesn’t matter as much as their experience and personality compatibility.
- Try to look outside your direct supervisors – you want your mentor to be someone with whom you can speak freely about your career and any workplace issues.
How do you approach a potential mentor? As Sheryl Sandberg writes in Lean In, “If someone has to ask the question, the answer is probably no. When someone finds the right mentor, it is obvious…Chasing or forcing that connection rarely works.”
Start by scheduling a time to ask them about a single topic or situation in person. After your meeting, reflect. Did the potential mentor give good advice? Did they seem interested in, and open to, further conversation? If the answer is yes to all of the above, this is a relationship to pursue. If the individual seems uninterested or unwilling, keep searching – the person you asked may have too much going on.
What is OneDigital doing to facilitate mentorship? In recognition of this important practice, we’re in the early stages of researching what makes a great mentor program. We are determined to bring this to all OneDigital employees in the coming years, once we feel we are ready to launch. As an organization, we’re invested in the professional and personal success of each and every member of our team.
One study found that mentored employees were promoted 5 times more often than those not. If you don’t already have a mentor, you can take action by starting your search today. And, to any who are approached as mentors: remember that this is a great way to give back to everyone who helped you on your own career path. An added bonus? Multiple studies have shown that mentors enjoy greater workplace successes than non-mentors.