A mentoring relationship is imperative for successful career development. It is the foundation for professional insight, opens doors for novice professional and creates both unique, and mutually beneficial, collaborative opportunities. But the mentor/mentee relationship is also a personal relationship built on trust.
If either party should breach the unspoken code of mentoring ethics, careers could be jeopardized and crucial connections compromised. There’s a lot of power within this relationship and that’s what makes it so all important. When the mentoring relationship works, the possibilities are endless.
Before you commit to becoming a mentor, ask yourself if you’re ready to step into a professional relationship where you’ll routinely impart industry knowledge, share ideas and coach someone eager to learn. If you’ve ever considered teaching, this may be perfect for you. If you think about it, the process of mentoring goes back to the days of apprenticeship where a novice would learn under the tutelage of the master.
When formal education and texts were out of reach to the masses the only way to learn a craft was to be taught first hand. Today, the possibility of mastering a profession is made easy from endless resources at our fingertips and in our own backyards. Still, the intimate relationship of learning alongside an experienced professional remains a high priority. There is an immense amount of weight given to experience of this nature. It’s altruistic as well. Many mentors feel they gain more than they give. That is why this professional relationship still continues in many labor industries with similar patterns in the professional, educational and even spiritual arenas.