Many of us understand the importance of having a mentor in the workplace: some seasoned veteran to show us the ropes and to learn from, one to challenge us so we may grow. But oftentimes finding and keeping these mentors can be difficult.
So how do we continue to thrive and build our skills in our careers? We learn to become our mentors.
That’s right. It is imperative we learn the importance of becoming our own champions and encouragers to keep us continuously moving forward. Are you ready to take the leap toward constant improvement? Read on for 6 ways to be your own mentor.
Examine Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Before you begin this mentorship journey with yourself, take some time for introspection and soul searching. Be honest with yourself: what are you good at? Are there new methods or skills you would like to learn? Are there necessary changes to be made, or do you just feel the need to change up your work routine to increase productivity?
By honestly examining areas of your work you excel in, and others that need some work, you can better assess your needs for professional and establish goals to work toward.
Write Down Your Goals — And Your Failures
Now that you have discovered areas in need of improvement, it is time to set some goals. Writing own your goals helps to better direct your focus to what needs to be done to grow you professionally.
Keep track of the steps you take for both your long term and short term goals, setting milestones to cross off to keep you accountable.
Just as you write down you goals and accomplishments, write down your slip ups or failures. While these mishaps are not to shame you, see each mistake as an opportunity to learn and improve.
Never stop asking questions! If there is something you don’t understand well or a new skill (big or small!) you wish to learn, ask.
Also be willing to question the status quo. Why have you been doing a task one way for so long? How can you change up your routine or your work patterns for the better?
By questioning your habits you can better develop new ones or examine what is working and what isn’t.
Seek Out Development Opportunities
Truth is, mentorship is only one aspect of professional development. Seek out other opportunities for continued education and growth including conferences, classes, networking events, industry meet-up groups, and even graduate school programs.
Life can’t be all work and no play! Take some time for yourself to celebrate your accomplishments or simply to relax and recharge. Maintaining a healthy balance between work life and life-life is key to a successful career.
Taking time for a massage, a workout class you enjoy, and dinner with family and friends during the week are all little rewards to help keep you balanced and motivated.
Part of mentorship is then giving back to others what you have learned. Be willing to share your experience and insight with your co-workers or someone new to the industry. Becoming a mentor for another not only gives back, it will continue to build your skills and grow you professionally as well.
Be willing to invest in yourself and your professional development by taking these steps to becoming your own mentor. It is never too late to try something new and to grow in your career.