How to be a mentor in the workplace and in life

Being a mentor is part of who I am. I have made a point of mentoring many people over my many years at Robert Half. And it’s become more essential now with so many of us working in a remote environment. Everyone is looking for meaningful ways to stay connected in a virtual environment.


But I haven’t started knowing how to be a mentor. Most people don’t. I learned by modeling myself on those who took me under their wing. From a young age, I sought advice from the people I respected most, from my phenomenal father, a CPA, to my college professors. And as my career progressed, I found influential mentors in the workplace at every stage.

I was first mentored professionally while working at a law firm the summer after my freshman year of college. I ended up working in the company part-time in college, and after graduating I was able to pass the torch to the next student. With a sense of pride and responsibility, I framed her in the role.

Then, at the beginning of my career as a financial analyst, I realized that it meant a lot to me to have a mentor to help me in the beginning. I then decided that I would pay it forward. As a mentor, I could provide advice and share my knowledge to help others succeed in the workplace. And that’s what I continually tried to do.

Are you looking to be a mentor? In my opinion, this is a win-win proposition. Here’s my tip to get the ball rolling:


Ideas on how to be a mentor
If you want to know how to become a mentor in the workplace, a good first step is to ask if your company has an employee mentoring program.

I am proud to say that I have been involved in our company’s official mentoring program for 23 years. It supports the transfer of leadership knowledge by matching mentors with newly promoted employees. Robert Half also supports informal mentoring to enhance career development, and I have offered help in many different forms over the years.

Mentoring relationships can also be established outside of work. I recently had lunch with one of my nieces and we talked about the next steps in her career. I like to think that I’m giving her a point of view that she might not find elsewhere. I’ve found the same to be true when I’ve been involved with nonprofits, like Dress for Success and Upwardly Global.

Many people assume that their supervisors should be their mentors, but the role of a mentor is to be a guide – not a boss. It’s about bringing a different perspective rather than a set of answers.

How do you start the process? If you sign up to participate in a formal workplace program, your company will likely strategically match mentors and mentees, and provide set goals and measurable results to achieve. These engagements usually last for a set period of time. As mentioned, you can also mentor others informally.

Whether you’re part of a formal program or mentoring someone on your own, consider these six suggestions to make the experience valuable and enjoyable for both parties:


1. Adopt a rookie mentality. I have this motto: always be the rookie. When you are new to something, you are eager, open to learning, always practicing. You are not discouraged by mistakes. Mentors should also have this attitude, and they will benefit from the relationship as much as the person they are mentoring. This is a growth opportunity for both parties.

2. Be open-minded about who you mentor. One piece of advice I offer to mentors is that if you have a choice, be open to mentoring people you may have nothing in common with. I have mentored very different types of people, at all levels. Diversity helps give a person new perspectives.

3. Serve as a trusted advisor. When you are a mentor, you are so many different things. Every day you can be a teacher, friend, coach or confidant. You play a lot of roles. But I think it all comes down to saying that being a mentor equals being a trusted advisor. People should feel comfortable talking to you and be open with their thoughts, concerns and aspirations. And you have to listen and be fully present.

4. Don’t just be a

Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse e-mail ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *

Job Stack By Flawless Themes. Powered By WordPress