In an age where employees are seeking different ways for career development, mentoring is ranked among the top 5 most-valued approaches.
Given the knowledge and experience mentors have, the degree to which they can impact the careers of employees is commendable. However, finding a mentor, who cares about you, and focuses on your best interests, can be challenging.
Although it’s very common for employees to have line managers or seniors within the department as their mentors, seeking mentorship outside the organization can be one of the other means to accelerate career growth!
The benefits of an internal mentor
When you join an organization, it is natural for you to seek out an association with an experienced industry resource. This could be the person who you can turn to for help and advice at important junctures in your professional lives.
A good mentor can bring a lot to the table. He/she can explain about industry facts and experiences, and guide you based on his/her deep experience and accelerate your learning and career growth.
When people look to their line managers to support their career growth, they do so because it is the easiest and most convenient source of advice and support. The internal mentor advantage is clear – as a new employee, an internal mentor can help you navigate through the corporate landscape, explore the various facets of your job, your department, and the organization as a whole, offer career advice, and judge if an internal move is beneficial for you − in the long run.
There is no doubt about the fact that an internal mentor has a big role to play in your career development. But there is also great value in seeking mentorship outside your organization. Let?s see what −
The value of an external mentor
- An external mentor has no vested interest in your organization. They aren?t worried about hierarchy, they do not care about internal backbiting, and will only be concerned with your best interests.
- As outsiders, they’ll have distinctly different perspectives, will offer advice solely based on what is right for you.
- They are your best confidantes, providing a neutral and objective opinion or advice for all concerns and challenges – in a safe and confidential environment.
- With external mentors, there is no fear of negative repercussions on your career; what is shared with the mentor, usually stays there.
- External mentors have a lot to offer – along with the expertise, knowledge, and experience, they seem to genuinely care and drive efforts in your development.
- They will ask important questions, will be more transparent, and make sure they are always there to guide you through difficult times.
- During periods of internal organizational changes and transformation, the support and guidance provided by an external mentor can be extremely reassuring.
- They’ll be able to offer their objective opinions ? without bias or personal interests ? and don the hat of trusted advisors.
- Since they won?t be worried about the political repercussions of the advice they give, they’ll be more open and transparent.
- External mentors also make it easy for you to speak about your career and life goals ? without being judged.
- They won?t be restricted by aspects of your corporate culture that might limit openness, giving you the freedom to talk about everything and set the stage for a far more productive mentoring relationship.
- And because they are not a part of your organization, they often provide a fresh and logical perspective to all your questions.
Make the right decision
If you?re just starting your professional career, or if you’ve been around for a long time, the benefits of having a mentor are far too many!
As you wade through the waters in a new company, having a senior leader as an internal mentor can prove beneficial to your career development. Alongside, having an external mentor can allow you to have more transparent conversations, receive unbiased opinions, and get advice that works in your best interests. This applies not just in the company you?re currently in, but also as you traverse through different roles, departments, and establishments in the future.