You Need a Mentor. Here’s Why.

A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.

“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Isaac Newton

The word “Mentor” was inspired by the character of Mentor in Homer’s Odyssey. Though the actual Mentor in the story is a somewhat ineffective old man, the goddess Athena takes on his appearance in order to guide young Telemachus in his time of difficulty.

The best mentors, through their wealth of knowledge and wisdom, help you learn and grow. The ultimate aim is to benefit from their experience and advice without having to suffer the consequences of having that experience firsthand. Even the most successful people ranging from Oprah Winfrey to Mark Zuckerberg have had mentors and still have them. Mentoring, just like learning, should be a lifelong thing.  Here are five reasons why you should have a mentor.

 

  1. Motivation and Inspiration:

“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.”  ― Oprah Winfrey

Mentors help to direct, enlarge, and transform your vision. They provide ideas, thoughts and insights based on their wealth of knowledge and experience that challenge and enable you to see beyond your sphere of influence. At work, when it comes to the wisdom that you need to help you progress in your career, your mentor will be the one there guiding and helping you to tap fully into your potentials. A mentor will also help you to open doors; empower you, engage and enable you to focus on your goals, help you to realize what you are capable of achieving regardless of the challenges you foresee.

 

  1. Coaching and advice: Mentors use their stories and perspectives to paint pictures of what is possible. They push you to aim for the top. A great mentor guides you to go even further than he/she did. This research from North Carolina State University also finds that young people who have had mentors are more likely to find work early in their careers that gives them more responsibility and autonomy, ultimately putting them on a path to more financially and personally rewarding careers.

 

  1. Protection: Mentors protect and nurture their protégés from bad decisions and actions. They provide insights on how to navigate political and career landmines in organizations and how to make sound business decisions in your startup or engagements. Their counsel prevents missteps that could otherwise derail your success. Mentors by their sound counsel guide protégés from making bad decisions.

So how do you find a mentor? This info-graphic helps