January is National Mentorship Month, honoring the invaluable relationship between mentor and mentee. In fact, it’s so valuable that a recent survey conducted by CNBC found that nine out of ten workers expressed that they were more satisfied with their jobs when they had access to a mentor. Depending on your current industry and position, workplace mentorship can manifest in different formats, such as a formal program within a company, third-party organizations designed to connect people with mentors, or casual connections developed with colleagues and friends. With any of these mentorship styles, the relationships help define not only who you are as a professional, but as a human being.
The importance of mentorship runs deep within Work Shield’s company values. In light of National Mentorship Month, our Work Shield team is recounting the impact our mentors have had on our careers, as well as the lessons learned from being mentors to those around us. Here are the top lessons our Work Shield founders have learned through mentorship.
Investment in People
When Jennifer Pope, co-founder of Work Shield, began her career practicing law, she often felt like the youngest and least experienced associate in the room. “I felt that my colleagues attributed my younger age to lack of knowledge as opposed to lack of experience. Thinking back to that time in my life, I realize how important it is to invest in new and younger employees so that they have the confidence to learn, grow and develop successfully in their roles. The most rewarding aspect of mentoring is knowing that I am helping to shape and impact someone else’s career in a positive way.”
Gateway to Knowledge and Wisdom
A good mentor can help bridge the gap between where you currently are and where you are striving to be professionally. Moreover, they can serve as a trusted and experienced confidant who will help guide you in times of failure and success. Jared Pope, CEO of Work Shield, explains: “Mentorship is a gateway to allow those with life lessons and experience to impart knowledge and wisdom to a younger generation. If you don’t have a mentor, find one. If you are not mentoring, find someone. It allows the heart and soul to breathe peace from the trials and tribulations of one’s own failures and frustrations, as well as successes and enjoyment.”
Celebrate the Little Victories
Oftentimes, young professionals are so focused on climbing the corporate ladder that they forget to take a step back and celebrate the little wins and victories that each day can bring. “One nugget of wisdom my mentor imparted on me is that some things are meant to be celebrated today and not put off until tomorrow. This is one of the reasons our team celebrates our Work Shield ‘wins’ and rings the bell on our wall – to take the time to acknowledge and show gratitude for our victories,” added Jennifer.
At Work Shield, we’ve seen firsthand the impact that mentorship has on achieving a fulfilling and successful career. Investing in a mentorship program, whether formal or informal, is a good first stepping-stone to continued growth and empowerment for all involved, and we encourage everyone to consider what lessons they may learn, and extend to others, this National Mentorship Month. If you need help with the first step, check out The Mentoring Connector’s free national database of mentoring programs.