Mentorship, an ageless concept

March 30, 2018

In my opinion, mentorship is not only an ageless concept, but having a mentor is an invaluable resource.

Mentors enter our lives at different places and junctures, and even come in different forms. I attribute a great deal of my success to the many great mentors that have guided me along my career, and allowed me to confide in them. The reality is that a lot of my achievements can be credited to having great mentors.

Mentorship shapes character

We don’t all start out on a level playing field, and sometimes it does take someone else to come along to plant the seeds that we need to grow to become the greatest versions of ourselves.

There was a time in my professional life where a mentor decided to coach me despite having no evident industry knowledge, and even took it as her own responsibility to nurture me and helped me to succeed in the role that I was in.

Despite their busy schedules, I have been blessed to have mentors that were patient and selfless and took take time to instil knowledge, share lessons that they had learned in their own careers; and discussed alternative approaches that would allow me to be more productive. They also gave me suggestions to keep me out of the hot seat and provided me with exactly what I needed to go further and faster than I ever thought I could.

Sure, I worked hard and earned a lot of recognition on my own, moving up to where I am now but by and large, mentors imparted skillsets to not only help me succeed in my role, but to exceed my own and everyone else’s expectations at the same time.

To me, feedback is a gift. Often, feedback from mentors is the most genuine you can ever receive. Through every juncture of my career, conversations that I have had with professional mentors or informal peer mentors are still etched in my mind. They have become turning points in my career when I put advice to action and saw demonstrable results.

Great mentors shape our character. They strive to empower us to go beyond our competencies, focus on core values, increase our self-awareness and show empathy with capacity for respect.

Mentorship provokes thoughts and changes perspectives

Another self-effacing experience was when a professional mentor urged me to navigate professional social media as a marketing platform, and shared creative ideas through use of social media. A single idea can be worth millions of dollars. This broadened my network and opened doors for me, as it was an approach that I would never have thought of without the guidance of my mentor.

Great mentors thoughtfully connect you to the right people through his or her network and here in Frazer Jones, I am blessed to have great mentors that empower me and give me the motivation to take action.

It’s a tiny planet and relationships are everything!

Mentorship is timeless

Mentors affirm and lift me up. Today I am in a humble and confident position today to share career advice to HR professionals from all walks of life and at different stages of their career. I can now see further because I’m standing on the shoulders of my mentors. There’s no perfect mentor, but that person might just be perfect for the season of your life. 

You want to be able to have a sense of what you can share and what it is that you want people to take away from you. It’s a reciprocal relationship. Sometimes mentees can also help you to understand your own strengths and weaknesses.

I challenge you to think about mentorship in your life. What does that look like to you and what has your role been? I believe that every-one of you will be a mentor at some point in your life. But we as people, as learners and growers, should begin to think about the world beyond ourselves as there’s so much to learn and so much to give. 

There is a saying that goes: When the student is ready, the teacher (mentor) will appear.