These days, if you need to know something, you Google it. Which is fine, if you want directions, or the answer to how to do that thing on Excel, but the algorithms haven’t literally walked the walk like a mentor has. Siri has never stayed up all night in the driving rain surveying bats, or prepped for an interview in front of a board of six terrifying sounding experts, with more letters after their names than there are in the alphabet. A mentor has and they’re your opportunity to tap into that goldmine of information; those ‘street (or bog/field/forest) smarts’ that you’ll never glean from a book.
“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” — Denzel Washington
No one got to where they are without a little help along the way and asking for support isn’t a sign of weakness. Quite the opposite, in fact, by getting the inside scoop from a mentor, you’re being savvier than your peers and setting yourself up for success.
“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.” — Bob Proctor
It’s easy to get bogged down in self-doubt, uncertainty and imposter syndrome. We’re all guilty of it, no matter where we are on our career path, but a mentor can help you see yourself and your achievements a little more objectively. They can aid you in seeing beyond the doubt and start making strides towards action and self-confidence.
“Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” – Bill Nye
And that’s reason enough to meet and talk to as many people as you possibly can – to put yourself out there and be an information sponge. But how do you find the right people? How do you meet the people who know the things you need to know? That’s where your mentor comes in. They’ve already built up the networks and they’re your gateway… Use them!
“Mentors have a way of seeing more of our faults that we would like. It’s the only way we grow.” – George Lucas
Constructive criticism is sometimes a hard pill to swallow, but by being open to it you will gain the most from your mentoring relationship. Mentors can often see where we need to improve when we cannot, and by taking their advice on board you’ll likely save yourself several, ‘I wish I’d done that differently’ moments that otherwise only hindsight could offer. Learn from their mistakes, so you don’t have to make them yourself!
“The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me!” – Ayn Rand
Most importantly of all, the mentoring partnership is deeply empowering. Suddenly you have someone in your corner who’s cheering you on, offering you advice, support and an objective, knowledgeable opinion. But it’s not just inspirational quotes and woo-woo, there have been studies that prove it. Mentoring has the potential to empower you to believe in yourself, to step out of your comfort zone, learn new things, have the courage to ask (the right) questions and to be everything that you’re capable of!
Access to the CIEEM mentoring platform is included in your membership. So, what are you waiting for?