Think back to your younger days—everybody had that person they looked up to. Maybe it was a mentor, a sports figure, their parents or a friend in their lives. Now, you have the chance to be that person for somebody seeking a mentor.
If you’re on the fence, let us be the first to tell you that you can do this. The main thing you need to be a mentor is consistency. Commit to it, and you’ll find that the benefits aren’t just for your mentee. While there’s no doubt that mentoring is hard work, those benefits are worth the rewards. Check out these ways that mentoring will help give back in unexpected ways.
1. Give Back to Your Community
When you help shape the lives of younger members of your community, you’re also shaping the next generation of citizens. They’ll be the ones voting, the ones giving back and the ones helping to keep your community clean and safe in the future. Do your part in giving back to the community by lending your time to a young professional, child or person in your community who could benefit from a mentor.
2. Advance Your Leadership Skills
You may not realize it at first, but becoming a mentor will help you develop your leadership skills. While the relationship you build with your mentee isn’t about your resume, it is a great honor to include during your next job hunt. Becoming a mentor helps exemplify that you possess leadership skills.
3. Practice Active Listening
Listening is easier said than done. With so many thoughts running around in our heads, it’s easy to become distracted. This is the perfect opportunity to hone in on your active listening skills. Being a mentor is entirely about your mentee, and you’ll need to actively listen and respond to what is happening in their life in order to be successful. Turn off your phone, put away distractions and get ready to truly listen to what they have to say.
4. Learn from Somebody Else
I know this sounds cliche, but hear me out. Oftentimes while mentoring somebody else, you end up learning just as much from the mentee. That’s because your mentee may have a different way of thinking or seeing the world than you. It’s important to embrace those differences and come in with an open mind. You’ll be surprised at how much you end up learning in return.
5. Build Relationships
Above all else, you will build relationships that will last a lifetime, both with your mentee and in the community. By going through a local organization, you’ll build relationships with community members who are also mentors, or are helping at that organization. Networking is always a great idea, as you never know when you might need connections in the future for a variety of reasons.
You’ll also likely be taking your mentee out into the community to grab coffee, attend events or other fun things that will encourage you to meet people you may never have met before. Have an open mind and do the types of activities your mentee is interested in. You’ll build lifelong relationships with the mentee and likely others along the way.
What are you waiting for? The benefits of mentoring will not only give back to your mentee, but also to your community, and even to you. Search for a program in your community looking for mentors and start the process today for endless benefits. You’ll be surprised at just how much you grow alongside your mentee.