Because any mentoring relationship requires a commitment of time and energy on the part of both the mentor and the mentee, it’s natural to ask yourself what’s in it for you. Though the primary goal of the mentor/mentee relationship is growth and development of the mentee (and in that sense can be seen as asymmetric), the relationship is reciprocal, with both parties benefitting.
Benefits of Being a Mentor
Though the benefits of being a mentee seem obvious (the personal growth and development of the mentee), ask anyone who has been a mentor and they’ll tell you they gained a lot too. Indeed, like any good relationship, mentoring is a give and take.
The benefits most often reported by mentors are: feeling energized, feeling professionally stimulated, and feeling personal satisfaction knowing they are an agent for change in someone’s life.
There’s also evidence that mentoring can have a positive impact on the mentor’s career. Mentors report having gained new perspectives on the concerns and needs of different workers and enhanced leadership skills, which can improve their own job performance and opportunities. As well, mentoring can help expand your personal network and area of influence in the industry.
Here are just some of the benefits mentors have reported:
• Personal satisfaction from being able to share your experience
• Feeling energized by the opportunity to give back to the industry
• Increased self-awareness
• Reinforced sense of professional identity
• Increased visibility and respect in your organization or industry
• Increased ability to develop talent
• Enhanced managerial skills
• The opportunity to help shape future industry leaders
• The opportunity to gain insight about a different generation or culture
• The opportunity to enhance your people skills
• Validation and increased confidence
• Increased job satisfaction
• The opportunity to interact with, and learn from, someone outside of your normal social or professional circle
• The opportunity to build or enhance your support network
• The opportunity to develop lasting friendships