What Does it Mean to Be a ‘Mentor’? (7 Responsibilities)
Mentoring young professionals means to help upskill and support their growth. Here are 7 responsibilities of a great mentor
May 5, 2022
15 minutes to read
Building and nurturing a relationship as a mentor with an apprentice can be an invaluable experience for both parties. With students and recent graduates trying to transition into the workplace from their university and academic life, they are often confused, lost and vulnerable. The real world requires a combination of technical and soft skills to succeed as an individual and collaborate with team members. Apprentices have felt a clear need to have mentors who can guide them and help them convert theoretical knowledge into practical hands-on skills required in the workplace. According to the CNBC/SurveyMonkey Workplace Happiness Survey, nine out of ten employees who have a mentor are happy at their jobs and workplace.
Who can be a ‘Mentor’?
A mentor is an industry professional with a few years of experience under their belt who is willing to share their knowledge, and guide young professionals who may be current students or recent graduates. Mentors should be driven to give back to the student community by imparting their knowledge and personal experiences to help guide early career professionals navigate when starting out in the workplace. A great mentor is someone who is willing to invest their time, effort and energy into moulding apprentices to become the best they can be. Interestingly, 89% of mentees believe in the concept strongly enough to mentor someone themselves and contribute to a growing culture of learning and mentorship.
What are the benefits of mentoring?
Choosing to mentor the next generation of professionals can have many benefits for mentors who are willing to invest their time and effort into nurturing mentees. A study by Moving Ahead has found that 87% of mentors and mentees feel empowered by their relationships and it has helped them develop greater confidence. While the value addition to mentees is massive, the mentor could also benefit from this relationship through personal growth. Some of the important benefits of mentoring are:
According to the CNBC/SurveyMonkey Workplace Happiness Survey, nine out of ten employees who have a mentor are happy at their jobs and workplace.
- Invest in the next generation of professionals – It can be a very rewarding experience to guide and help young early in career professionals develop their skillset to be successful in the workplace
- Gain fresh ideas and new perspectives – A study by Adobe has shown that Gen Z are 63% more creative than any other generation before them. Working with young people will educate you about new ideas, trends and major changes in their environment from their point of view.
- Build your personal brand – Mentoring will provide you with opportunities to build your personal brand through one on one sessions, webinars, courses, speaking engagement, etc.
- Give back to the student community – If you have had a previous teacher, guide or mentor who helped you find your way as a young professional, This could be your chance to give back and do the same for someone else.
- Monetize your knowledge – As a subject matter expert, paid mentorship opportunities could be a way for you to create a passive income and monetize your experiences.
What are the responsibilities of a mentor?
- #1 – Impart technical knowledge – One of the biggest challenges faced by early in career professionals is the difficulty in converting their theoretical concepts into practical skills to be successful in their job position. As many recent graduates have no prior experience when starting their first job, a mentor’s input in helping them find the ropes is invaluable. From running campaigns to budgeting, brainstorm sessions, email etiquette, etc, there are many aspects that may be brand new to young professionals.
- #2 – Provide constructive feedback – Mentors should provide constructive feedback after reviewing an apprentice’s work. Going into detail with the feedback will ensure that the quality of the apprentice’s work improves with every draft. There could be technical elements of the work along with structure or visual aspects which need to be improved. It is important to stick to a standard of quality and help them achieve this by providing samples, ideas and suggestions. The recommendations provided by a mentor provides guidance for the apprentice to tweak their output.
As many recent graduates have no prior experience when starting their first job, a mentor’s input in helping them find the ropes is invaluable.
- #3 – Share insights and experience – As a mentor with many years of experience in an industry, job function or region, you will have many tried and tested best practices. This coupled with your personal experiences will ensure that mentees don’t make the same mistakes and can be more effective in their work. Interestingly, 84% of CEOs have stated that having mentors to guide has helped them avoid making critical and costly mistakes.
- #4 – Stimulate growth – When working with apprentices as mentees for a period of time, mentors will be able to identify strong skill sets and areas for improvement. This can help set personal and professional goals for mentees based on your observations to stimulate growth for their future. According to a LinkedIn report. This is exceptionally important as 94% of employees would choose to stay with a company for a longer period of time if they were presented with opportunities to learn and grow.
- #5 – Offer encouragement – As a mentor, you should push the apprentice to aim for more and offer mental support. Often, when mentees are overwhelmed and feel like quitting, the mentor should reach out with positive guidance and words of wisdom to help them keep going. This is a relationship where mentors should want the very best for their mentees and help them achieve their goals.
- #6 – Connect mentees with potential opportunities – As industry professionals with many years of experience, Mentors could connect apprentices with potential opportunities, get them in touch with the right people and introduce them to new circles. Mentors will also be able to suggest the career path to be taken keeping the strong qualities and interests of the mentee in mind. From attending events like exhibitions or masterclasses to meeting with other subject matter experts, mentors could play the role of both teacher and connector to young professionals.
Mentors should act as sounding boards for apprentices to bounce off their ideas. As a mentor, you should act as a trusted advisor and help them validate their ideas and navigate the process of deploying and bringing it to life.
- #7 – Listen to ideas – Mentors should act as sounding boards for apprentices to bounce off their ideas. According to a research study by Olivet Nazarene University, 41% of mentees have found it difficult to spend time with their mentors as they are often busy. The study also showed that from the group of people who do have mentors, 57% were junior level professionals. Whether it be business ideas, ways to improve existing processes, creative methods of completing mundane tasks, it is important for mentors to listen attentively. As a mentor, you should act as a trusted advisor and help them validate their ideas and navigate the process of deploying and bringing it to life.
Should you become a mentor with Qureos?
Qureos helps to connect with liked-minded learners from all over the world, acquire practical hands-on skills through industry professional-led sessions and gain work experience by collaborating with corporates while building an apprentice’s portfolio. We are looking for great mentors who want to give back to the student community while building their own brand. We want to provide an avenue within multiple categories like sales & marketing, data science, content and graphic design for mentors to connect with apprentices.
If you would like to learn more about Qureos, become a mentor or connect with a member of our team, please feel free to contact us.