Life, like surfing is all about the wave selection and reading waves is a tough skill. If you are looking for the exponential wave to surf for career growth, then read on to unravel the mystery.
Have you ever pursued something difficult that seemed the logical thing to do to step up in your career, and then feeling motivated you went on to tackle the monster all by yourself, only to later find yourself almost crushed? If so, consider enrolling yourself in a mentorship program.
‘There are options in life. It’s not necessary that high achievements can only be garnered by choosing difficult options.’ – Dear Zindagi Movie
Typically, a mentor is an older, more experienced person who works with the mentee, on behalf of the mentee’s best interests and goals. Mentor-mentee relationships can either be formal – organized through a mentoring program or informal – established through connections. Most of the benefits of being mentored are commonly recognized, so here are the big ones as a refresher.
- Structured learning can save you hours of struggle. The role your skillset will play in your career is pretty straightforward: The better you are at what you do, the more successful you will be.
- Gain exposure from second-hand experiences. This reminds me of a well said quote by Otto von Bismarck – “Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.”
- Improve your performance. We all know how easy it is to get lost in the woods on days of low self-motivation.
- Build a network and make connections with peers that may otherwise take years to develop.
Remember not to be fooled by the impression, that the outcome of your career is dependent on the actions and inputs of others. The truth is, you are in charge of the chemical reaction in which the mentor – is merely a catalyst.
Now you are thinking how to go ahead and find a mentor. A great place to start would be your own college, to find a senior who has done what you aspire to do. This Senior might still be in college, or an Alumni whom you know. Don’t stop there, there are other places on the Internet like LinkedIn where you can find people who have been successful and are also ready to help. One place where I actually found Mentorship to strengthen my programming skills was Coding Ninjas(http://www.codingninjas.in/). They have some very good courses with awesome mentors. How do I know? Because, I was also in your shoes once, kudos to Ankush and Kannu Sir for making it worthwhile.
But, the story of surfing the exponential wave doesn’t end here. It’s been said that you never really learn something until you teach it. So, take out some time to work and develop yourself after the mentee phase and once you feel more confident, switch to the mentor phase.
We tend to think about a mentorship program only from the mentee’s perspective but a little pondering will show that the returns from a mentor’s side are great career boosters as well. Few good pointers worth noting, are listed below.
Refresh your knowledge. Mentoring someone can provide a greater perspective and clarity about what you already know.
Hone your leadership, management and communication skills.
Build your credibility and reputation as a role model.
Mentoring does not necessarily mean that you must take out a lot of time from your already hectic schedule. All it means is that you spend quality time with the mentee because every interaction counts.
To wind up I would say, whether you become a mentor or a mentee, it’s a classic win-win situation. Now that the facts are clear, choose a role that brings you a step closer to your goals. Would love to hear your takeaways from the journey in the comments section!