January is mentoring month; join The Leadership Initiative
January is National Mentoring Month, which was begun in 2002 to promote youth mentoring in the United States. Most understand the benefits of having a mentor: having a confidant to advise you through struggles at work, learning how to create a career path for yourself, or having someone as a reference who can best speak to your strengths. What is less acknowledged is the value that it brings to the mentor, which can be equally or even more rewarding.
Being a mentor is not just about feeling good about helping someone advance their career; often mentors learn how to improve and grow in their own careers as well. During the Providers’ Council’s Leadership Initiative networking event last March, one mentor shared that she had been considering a career change, but after developing the relationship with her mentee, she overcame the challenge she was facing and is happier in her role. According to Management Mentors, Inc., being a mentor strengthens interpersonal relationship skills, helps improve and develop the mentor’s own organization, and helps re-energize the mentor’s career.
Through the Council’s The Leadership Initiative (TLI), both mentors and mentees have grown in their careers; often through promotions. Uniquely pairing individuals from different organizations helps both mentor and mentee share candid information that they may not feel comfortable sharing internally, thus allowing for thorough and honest advice and an outside, impartial perspective. The relationship keeps both mentors and mentees committed to the human services sector as they remind each other of the rewarding work that awaits them every day.