Five reasons to become a mentor
Mentoring supports and encourages young people to maximise their potential, develop their skills and become the person they want to be.
Here are five (more) reasons why becoming a mentor is a great way to volunteer.
1. Pass on your skills
Mentoring is a fantastic way to pass on your skills to the next generation and help them kickstart their futures.
It gives you the chance to engage with someone younger than you, who may see things very differently.
Most of us long for a legacy, some stake in the future that says, “I was here”. What better legacy than to be a part of shaping tomorrow’s leaders?
In a changing world, it is essential to understand how those who have come after you think, and also how they view your own generation.
Every year, thousands of young people report that their mentor has helped transform their lives by providing them with skills they need for career success.
From communication and networking to developing new digital skills, it all has the power to transform their ability succeed in education and employers, helping them to achieve their potential.
2. Enhance your own professional development
Mentoring doesn’t just help young people.
Mentors are able to develop and showcase leadership skills, build connections with people from different backgrounds, and their ability to help others develop new skills.
Leadership is a valuable skill in any environment, and mentoring is a key part of it. The ability to help others learn and progress will be a key skill in your career, and you will also be able to build your communication skills.
Being able to demonstrate patience with those in need of guidance and support, and help people figure out the best path forward are all trademarks of a great leader – as well as skills honed through mentoring.
It always important to broaden your horizons; your career may see you working with a wide range of people and it is important that you are able to relate. Learning how to work with people to whom you don’t have a natural connection is an important skill.
In CareerReady’s Power of Volunteering report released last year, more than two-thirds of mentors cited an increase in their knowledge or skills, with 91% improving their coaching skills.
And it’s no soft sell either. Between 2010 and 2015, Sun Microsystems studied the career progress of over 1,000 employees. People who had acted as mentors were six times more likely to be promoted than those who didn’t, and 20% more likely to get a raise.
3. Add value to your business
The value of mentoring is not limited to just those who volunteer or are directly supported. It also has the potential to add business value to organisations.
Sharing your insights, learning and networks helps to grease the organisational wheel. Stepping up the pace and increasing productivity helps everyone within the organisation – including you.
Research shows that the benefits that volunteering provides in terms of upskilling and wellbeing is more pronounced on those who are part of an employee volunteering scheme.
More junior staff can develop the skills they need to become managers, and show their potential as future team leaders.
4. Transform a young person’s aspirations
Do you remember a teacher, a coach or a former boss who said or did something that changed the trajectory of your life? This is your chance to do that for someone else.
You may not think that you have much to offer at this stage of your career, but engaging with someone who has had an entirely different background can be immensely rewarding for both of you.
Mentoring has the power to open up a young person’s horizons to things they never thought possible.
Whether it’s developing insights into a sector or role they never knew existed, or developed a passion for learning new things, our students share how they’ve discovered their new passions thanks to the support of their mentor.
5. Boost your wellbeing with a rewarding experience
Tell yourself all you want that you’re doing it for your CV, but we guarantee you that once you become a mentor the 'feel good' factor will take hold.
There is little more rewarding than knowing you are making a difference to someone else’s life.
Mentoring is a unique opportunity to step outside your normal circle of friends and social media’s echo chamber to gain an intimate understanding of how the world looks through someone else’s eyes.
New perspectives lead to fresh ideas, and who knows where fresh ideas could lead you?
We all get into bad habits, whether professionally or personally. A different point of view can help you understand why you take a certain course of action, or why you think in a certain way.
As you pass on your advice and experience, you will have a better idea of how well you are living your own life.