Mentors are trusted advisors and guides that help people (mentees) to navigate their careers. The relationships in mentorships are incredibly valuable, as it allows both parties to develop professionally while being supported.

First, it’s essential to understand exactly what a mentor is and isn’t. A mentor helps another individual develop their career by providing advice and guidance. Usually, this relationship is established between an older employee and a younger, less experienced one for the purpose of career development.

The mentor acts as an objective third party who provides insight and feedback and advocates for the mentee’s growth. A successful mentorship will be authentic and challenging. Effective mentors are honest, offer tools and tips for overcoming challenges, and help to shed light on opportunities. This allows mentees to develop their confidence, expand their networks, and stay focused on their careers.

Most people participate in mentorship programs because they want to grow in their professional careers. Of course, one of the best strategies for professional growth is effective goal setting. Mentorship programs often use the SMART goal-setting process (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Sensitive). The SMART process can be beneficial, as it allows people to hone in on exactly what they’re hoping to achieve and makes it easy to measure progress.

A survey shows that 93 percent of workers believe setting goals is very important to their work performance. By setting goals and creating small steps to reach them, mentors can help mentees focus on the day-to-day tasks that will help them to get where they want to go. 

Without goals, a mentee might not have a plan or direction for their career. Having a mentor can help them set goals and keep them on track. When there’s someone else paying attention and holding you accountable, people can become more motivated.

Furthermore, participants can develop their leadership skills by listening, giving feedback, and being compassionate. These soft skills are very important for career success!

After completing a mentorship, participants reported that they were able to develop their self-efficacy and were more likely to seek support whenever they needed it. This is a good sign that their relationship with their mentor helped them improve their soft skills.

Additionally, mentorship can help participants to develop better problem-solving skills, boost confidence, and increase overall well-being. 

Through mentorship, participants can expand their network and connect with others in various ways. For instance, a mentor can introduce a mentee to old colleagues or professionals who can offer insight and advice or provide new opportunities. This type of interaction can allow mentees to get out of their comfort zone and meet people they may not have had access to otherwise.