How to be a workplace mentor

Addison Group Workplace Mentor

People in all career stages search for guidance. It’s normal to feel lost, unsure, or even experience imposter syndrome in the workplace. Having someone to lend a helping hand can make work transitions smoother, help establish confidence, and pave the way for a successful career.

We all need a mentor, which means many of us need to act as one, too. Being a mentor to a colleague can make a huge difference in their career, especially if they’re new to their job, or the workplace in general. Below are some tips to help you be the workplace mentor everyone needs.

Lend an ear, Share a story

Share life experiences

Hearing colleagues, especially those in higher positions, talk about their experiences in life and work can be a major comfort to someone starting a new job. When someone is the newbie, they can easily feel out of place and like they don’t belong. They may not feel like they fit into a team, like they’re not fit for the position they attained, and are unsure of what to do next. One thing that calms these nerves and softens these thoughts is hearing from others who share similar experiences.

Think back to being the newbie. Recall on that experience of feeling uncomfortable and out of place and be vulnerable in sharing that with someone new to a position. Speaking on personal experience and letting them know you’ve been in their shoes will shed light on how far you’ve come while giving them the confidence to know they can overcome these challenges, too.

Offer encouragement and inspiration

While you’re reminiscing on your time experiencing a bit of imposter syndrome, think about what you wished a workplace mentor had told you to make you feel better. Or, if you’re lucky, maybe you did have someone lifting you up. If so, what did they tell you?

Find the words you were, or wish you were, told when you were just starting out in something new that helped you gain confidence and get through that awkward transition phase. Hearing that encouragement can be inspiring to a mentee and can help push them forward.

Hands-on approaches

Help them set goals

Words of encouragement and sharing vulnerable life experiences can be a huge help in a new colleague’s work life. However, if you want a more hands-on way to help, we’ve got you covered.

Starting a new position or at a new company can be overwhelming. A new hire’s mind may be running at a million miles per hour. Helping someone sort their thoughts and organize them on paper can bring a sense of control – helping calm their mind.

Help them set goals – big or small.

You can help them come up with bigger, year-end goals, or something as small as a goal for the end of the day, like writing a professional bio or setting up an email signature. Having either of these will help them feel the sense of control they seek.

Help them develop leadership skills and gain confidence

A common issue for people making a big workplace transition is the lack of confidence. They’re new to a space or a position, working with new people, and potentially doing an unfamiliar job. This is where imposter syndrome comes in. How did I get here? Do I know what I’m doing? I’m not sure I’m qualified for this.

Helping a mentee build the skills they need to gain confidence is an impactful step in a workplace mentor/mentee relationship. This can come in many ways.

One thing to do is recommend training programs/courses that helped when you were in the same position. Think back to any courses you took that helped advance your skills and made you more confident in doing your job.

There are also more hands-on approaches. For example, if you’re a workplace mentor to someone trying to advance in their career, you can do mock interviews with them. Walk them through a common interview and give them genuine feedback. Rehearsing these big moments can help them feel at ease when it matters most and gives them the confidence to propel themselves forward.

No matter how you go about it, helping them attain new skills and perfect old ones can be a game-changer for a colleague. The confidence they gain will be noticeable in their demeanor, as well as their work, setting them up for success in the long haul.

Are you ready to be a workplace mentor? Find your mentee. Addison Group has more than 20 years of experience matching job seekers to companies that align with their personal and professional goals to create perfect partnerships. Contact us today!

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