My Mentorship Story: The Benefits of a Mentor at Any Career Stage
I can still recall the day that I was asked to join Mentor Ameris.
I was in bed with strep throat, covered in a pile of tissues and saltine cracker crumbs when I noticed that I had a voicemail. In a cloak of self-pity, I listened to the message from our learning and development director asking me to call her about our mentoring program when I had a moment.
“Mentoring program? I’m not experienced enough to be a mentor,” I thought.
I was right. I wasn’t.
I was called to ask to participate as a mentee.
Initially, I thought that mentorship was something that only people new to the workforce needed. Since I had an established career, having moved past the exploration phase, I wondered how a mentor would benefit me. Despite my questions, I enrolled in the program. And I am so glad I did! I quickly learned that my mentor wasn’t necessarily meant to guide my career. There are many other benefits that I reaped throughout the program.
Benefits of a Mentor at Any Age or Career Stage
Mentors Provide Knowledge
My mentor led a division of the bank that I had very little knowledge of. By learning more about this sector of Ameris, I am more effectively able to do my job as a marketer. I quickly learned that every pocket of Ameris is more nuanced that I realized, which has given me a fresh approach to starting conversations with bank leaders.
Mentors Can Broaden Your Network
Many mentors have established professional networks. My mentor is well-respected and well-liked and networks effortlessly (which is a far cry from my social awkwardness). Not only have I connected with more bank leaders through her, but I’ve learned a great deal by observing her conversation style and noting the importance of her connections.
Reverse Mentoring Is Important
One thing I appreciate about my mentor is that she values me as much as I value her. I’ve been able to share tidbits about technology and social media that she finds fascinating and useful. This helps our relationship feel more like an authentic partnership rather than a one-sided surface-level relationship.
My mentor has become a dear friend. While we no longer have structured conversations via Ameris Bank’s mentor program, we regularly check on each other. Every season of life is different, professionally and personally. Your development needs change. For this reason, your relationship with your mentor may evolve, or, you may find it useful to seek a new mentor to sharpen or guide a specific facet of your life.