Mentoring has been defined as a professional relationship between a mentor (more experienced) and a mentee (less experienced) to develop certain skills and knowledge that will enhance personal and professional growth. Mentors are usually assigned to junior members of a team, such as new graduate hires or student interns. In some cases, senior team members can be assigned as mentors to junior team members. Most of us will be engaged in some degree of technical or career mentoring at some point in our careers. Many of us will also be given a mentor, or be encouraged to find a mentor.
Mentoring can have a lot of benefits when it is done well. Mentoring shapes the skills that every future leader needs, and it helps in developing both soft and technical skills. Even for those who won’t go on to a career in management, there are clear benefits to taking time to mentor and learn from a mentee experience. Mentoring is a great way to build your network. Networking can open many new opportunities for both mentor and mentee. As you grow in your career, you will be learning and experiencing a lot of teachable moments. We should never stop learning. When we stop learning, we start to lose the most valuable skill for maintaining and growing a successful technical career. Technology is always changing and we must continually experience that change.
Mentoring is a great method of learning for both the mentor and the mentee. When you are a mentor, tell your mentee what you expect from him/her. Working with people who are learning things for the first time can help you make connections you may not otherwise have made. When you are a mentee, think about what you want to get out of the relationship, come prepared to your meetings or sessions, ask your mentor questions and share your ideas.
Mentoring has many benefits in the workplace. For example:
- Development of leadership skills
- Increased knowledge transfer
- Job satisfaction
- Smart succession planning
- Motivation of professional development
- Achievement of goals and objectives
- Stronger networks and connections
- Effective teamwork
In conclusion, mentoring is a great tool for employees to solve problems and grow in their careers. Successful mentoring requires that both the mentor and the mentee be responsible and sustain the relationship. Mentoring helps in creating a positive work environment and encourages the growth of employees to future leaders.
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