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Robert Cordray

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Why Everyone Should Seek Out A Mentor At Work


Sadly, according to LinkedIn, there are not many people today using mentors to help improve their performance and knowledge at work. Yet, there is a grand tradition of the apprenticeship in one's career path from Medieval times that maybe workers today need to learn from.

Mentors Help Us Minimize the Beginner Phase in Our Careers

Mentors have the edge of experience. They know what it was like the first day they worked in your field, and they remember with chagrin every newbie mistake they made. They can help coach new employees around the shoals of these blunders and faux pas. For example, in the teaching profession, Boogren stated that teachers are called upon to make 1,500 educational decisions each day, more decisions than air traffic controllers, yet they often leave their teacher preparation programs lacking even the skills to properly manage a classroom of students. Mentors who teach the same grade level can come to the rescue and supply tips, books, and videos to help the new teachers gain control of the class so that learning can prevail. The National Education Association stated that 50 percent of all teachers leave the profession within the first five years. Mentorship could save these careers.

Mentors Provide Professional Growth Opportunities of All Kinds

Mentors can provide advice on the spot. They can help shepherd mentees to training and in-service opportunities that help provide just what is needed at just the right time. Mentors have the experience with what is available in terms of professional development. The mentee may not have the knowledge of what they are lacking nor where to begin to get new information. Sometimes, this can even be because there are many in-services available, but the mentee may not be able to sort the weeds from the chaff and find quality training experiences that are truly helpful. This is another way in which the mentor has the information the mentee needs.

For example, in a rapidly expanding new line of work, such as the job of cryptocurrency accountant, both mentor and mentee are in an evolving career field. With things in the cryptocurrency field changing rapidly in terms of the currencies themselves as well as the technology that supports the transactions, mentors and mentees need to constantly expose themselves to quality training presentations. Also, as stated by LinkedIn, in a mentorship situation, both the mentor and mentee are aided. I think this is especially true in an emerging field like cryptocurrency.

Mentors Aid in Networking

Mentors also can aid the mentees in networking. As stated by LinkedIn, networking can help the mentee find people in their field that are influential in terms of advancement opportunities, their first job, even heightened or additional responsibilities. The mentor can help the mentee find experts in niche subject matters that can assist the mentee in finding answers about vexing topics in the field that are not readily known about by the main practitioners.

For example, a mentor in a field that relies upon an extensive network, like real estate or fund raising, would be able to help a mentee quickly gain ground by finding the necessary contacts with which to flourish in their field. For example, real estate agents need to have contacts with brokers, lenders, insurance agents, remodeling contractors, landscapers, and hauling and waste removal companies. The mentor, already established in business, will be able to share his or her contacts to the mentee, getting the protege off to a good start.

It is sad that so few proteges are reaching out to find mentors. Mentors could save their proteges time in avoiding the pitfalls made by green recruits. They could help their proteges keep up on the latest trends and professional development opportunities. Also, they could help their mentees network with other experts in order to advance in their field in a more rapid trajectory to a state of competence, to higher positions and more career satisfaction. There is no reason not to reach out. Much can be gained on the path to career success and competency.

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