Thinking About Becoming a Mentor? Here’s What You’ll Need to Know

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In the early days of business, the word “mentor” wasn’t nearly as common as it is today. In fact, most businessmen in the 19th century entered into an industry simply because it was a family business. Thus, they learned mostly from their parents and siblings.

However, the business world operates much differently today. In fact, some theories suggest that a family business is only viable for up to 3 generations. However, some suggest that familial socioeconomic standings have lasted for up to 6 centuries in specific cases.

Family business or not, today, you can have a much easier and more lucrative professional career if a mentor is involved.

Studies have shown that 9 out of 10 mentees are much happier with their professional careers after being coached by a mentor. So if you think you have what it takes to become a mentor, the following will provide a few valuable insights.

Where Should You Begin?

You might be wondering how you can become a mentor, and who is the right person to take under your wing. But if you look around in your industry, even in the cubicles of the company that you work for, you might be surprised at the candidate potential that you find.

One thing that you should keep in mind is that if you begin where you work now, you’ll be on the frontlines when it comes to setting your business up for long-term success.

Chances are, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from all around you when it comes to mentoring others. In fact, junior associates, apprentices, interns and even promising new-hires are all viable prospects for a mentorship program.

Starting your mentorship journey right where you work not only offers you the chance to shape the success of your mentees, it offers a chance to build your company toward a successful future.

Setting the Rules

Jumping in full-throttle is a common mistake that most beginning mentors make at the beginning of a mentorship journey. But when you initially start your mentoring program, you’ll want to set a few ground rules for both your mentee and for yourself.

Rules and standards are guiding rods for any mentorship program. And the clearer you are about these rules, the better off your relationships will be with your mentees.

For example, without rules and standards to adhere to, your mentee might be calling you all hours of the day or night and taking up a vast amount of your time. But if you clearly state-specific times for communications and learning, you’ll find that this structure offers both you and your mentee better peace of mind.

Rules can be anything you feel to be important enough for enhancing and ensuring progress. But remember you also need to allow flexibility as well.

Understand Your Ideal Candidate

Again, a common mistake that most beginning mentors make is that some are so eager to begin, they don’t clearly form a vision for their mentorship. But this can be avoided by generating a mock profile of your ideal candidate.

In marketing strategy, knowing your customer is of the absolute highest priority if your marketing campaign is going to be successful. As such, many marketing strategists create profiles for their ideal target customer.

You can use this same tactic for your mentorship program. For example, you can ask yourself a few of the following questions:

  • What age is the perfect mentee?
  • What is his or her age?
  • What is his or her area of expertise?
  • What are his or her career goals?

By profiling your ideal mentee, you’ll have a much easier time narrowing the field down to the perfect set of candidates.

Getting into the mentorship game has numerous benefits. Most of all, it offers you the joy and fulfillment of helping others establish themselves professionally. And at the same time, it allows you to establish yourself as an authority in your industry.

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