After two years of uncertainty, workplace dissatisfaction and difficult career decisions, could mentorship provide the boost we all need in 2022?
When I think about the times I have felt most motivated, confident and ambitious in my work - other people helped get me there. Often we feel like we are on our career journeys alone, but mentorship is one tool we have in reducing workplace anxiety, complacency and the ever-present imposter syndrome. Someone who is able to provide honest guidance, support and feedback, while allowing us to see ourselves and our decisions through their perspective is a gift.
On the People Experience team, we constantly talk to senior people and talent professionals about their struggles, priorities and career journeys. A thread that runs through many of these conversations is the impact that mentoring has had on people. There’s a pervasive myth that for mentors, it’s a process of ‘giving back’, when in reality, a great mentorship is a two-way exchange that both parties benefit from.
In these conversations, it has become clear that great mentorship is:
The success of the partnership will depend on a good fit of personalities, industries and goals. In order for both mentor and mentee to get the most out of it, they need to be inspired by, interested and invested in each other.
Structured, but flexible enough!
Momentum is key. In order for progress to take place, and the mentorship to not just fizzle out, meetings need to take place on a regular basis. At the same time, flexibility (timing, location, medium), will stop things from becoming too rigid and difficult to maintain.
In mentoring meetings, having an idea of what the end goals are, enables people to get the most out of them. Discussions and reflections will most likely change the shape of these goals, but the intention of goal-setting is to give the meetings focus, and encourage accountability.
There’s zero purpose in setting goals if they aren’t revisited and reflected on. Through honest reflection, both mentor and mentee can act as a mirror to one another, allowing them to grow in their decision making, strategic thinking, communication and confidence.
With these in mind, maybe 2022 needs to be the year we invest our time and energy into mentoring relationships, and reap the benefits!