Hello everyone! Hope you're having a good week. This week we're going to talk about the importance of being a mentor. We've talked a lot before about the importance of finding a mentor to help you navigate through your career and be a sense of support, however, today we're talking about the way in which you can give back which is by being a mentor. Whether you have 15 years of experience or 6 months of experience you have a story that you can share and can help someone else. Here are my tips on how to be a good mentor:
No one expects you to have all the answers, however, they do expect you to be honest about what you do and do not know. Tell the truth about what you know and if you don't know try to find a way to get to know! More knowledge for yourself can only help other people.
Share your experience.
It's always great to give your advice, but don't forget to share your experience. If you've been in a similar situation as someone, sharing your experience can often times help more than just giving general advice. Your mentee wants to hear about your perspective so make sure you let them know,
You want your mentee to leave any conversation with you feeling worse than how they came in talking to you. Offer them some kind of help or some type of reassurance that they're heading in the right direction. If they aren't heading in the right direction, offer them tangible actions that will help them move into the right direction. If you feel like your mentee's issue is beyond what you can control, don't be afraid to escalate to someone who can better solve their problems. The important thing is that your mentee feels safe and empowered talking to you.
You shouldn't wait for your mentee to reach out to you all the time. You should reach out to them especially when first beginning your relationship. By taking initiative and checking in it lets them know that you care and that you want them to do well.
When you're first starting your career, you may feel like a sponge soaking all the information that people who you've trusted to steer you in the right direction which is amazing but you need to make sure you giving back to others. As double minorities in STEM we have the responsibility to make sure we're passing as much information as we can to encourage others to pursue their career without hesitation.