who is a mentor? 2

It is often said if you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.Lack of proper direction and guidance can stifle the process of your growth.It therefore becomes, imperative to find a mentor who has the ability, time and dedication to provide you with those necessary tips that will help you reach career goals.

Who is a mentor?
IN simple words, a mentor is a wise and trusted counselor/teacher/trainer…..they act as a catalyst and nurture your potential and talent….

The need for a mentor is:
Remember that tough mathematics prblm that look hours to solve due to the lack of knowledge of the right method/ formula that had to be applied? Therfore, you took the help of your maths teacher or tutor to understand the underlying concept….Similarly in an organisation , one needs the correct method or path to achieve professional and personal goals, A mentor can help you in the following ways….To gain in depth knowledge about the industry and the culuture of the organisation you are working in, especially if you both are new to both….and next for personal growth and development – to acquire leadership and communication skills …..

With the help of the mentor , you can build a network of contacts within and outside the organisation….

If you arrive at the point in your carrier when your duties are actually “easy”, and you are in comfort zone, it is time to create some challenges of your own…..A mentor can give you a real world perspective and keep you sharp….

Finding a mentor at work:
You must keep your eyes and ears open in order to identify a mentor….Obersving people at work is the best way …to identify whether they possses the skills you require to develop. A mentor could be a:

Senior executive from the organisation….
An experienced colleague….
senior professional from industry….
your old professor from campus also …..

I made the common mistake of restricting my search fora mentor to my immediate boss and senior management….However, I soon realised that good mentors often come from the most unlikely places.I have often taken advice from senior professionals from a different department or even a different organisation. I learnt the lesson quite early that it pays to keep my eyes and ears open as one could find mentors where you least expected….

Qualities that you must look for:.
It is very important to identify the right mentor.Remember , we need to be the initial judge of the qualities that a mentor should possess….Ideally a mentor:
is easily accessible
is a good listener
is encouraging and motivating
suggest news/creative ways to approach a problem
is far-sighted and experienced
is ready to share his/her experience
possesses skills that you need to develop

Thus, I conclude a mentor’s role is not about domain expertise but more about sharing life experience and providing a frame work to approach the typical challenges that most professionals face…While having strong or immediate rapport is good, remember that a mentorship is not a friendship…you “re not trying to widen your social circle so make sure that you are aware of the mentor’s availability so that you are not in conflict with his schedule….