"The best mentors help us navigate internal politics and understand corporate culture..."
Few people in our lives are as important as our mentors. In business and in life, mentors lead by shining example, offer valuable advice and influence us forever.
Because mentoring is long-term and relationship-oriented, it is different than coaching. The focus goes beyond specific learning goals to include discussions about issues like self-confidence, work-life balance and professional ethics and integrity. The mentor creates a safe environment to discuss sensitive issues, is available when needed, and offers support, encouragement and advice.
Mentorship benefits both the mentee and the mentor, providing a rewarding experience in which to improve leadership and communications skills, learn new perspectives and ways of thinking, advance your career and gain a wonderful sense of personal satisfaction.
My own career success hinged at many junctures on advice from mentors, who encouraged me to take professional risks and reach beyond my comfort zone. As a result, I’ve become a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to writing, editing, publications development and public relations counseling.
The most successful mentoring relationships occur organically and can take place at any time during your career. In fact, different mentors appear throughout our careers to assist us in reaching our potential. The best mentors help us navigate internal politics and understand corporate culture, as well as introducing us to the right connections and professional organizations that can further our goals.
I’ve been fortunate to have a handful of beloved mentors who have guided my career and I’m honored to have mentored many young professionals. If you need a mentor or want to become one, many online resources can help you study mentorship. Some professional organizations, such as the Public Relations Society of America, offer formal mentorship programs.