Mentorship comes in a variety of forms, from one-off micro-mentorship opportunities to connections that span decades-long careers. It has been my experience, and that of many of my peers, that building relationships and connecting with your community – both modes of mentorship – support growth from all angles and help create new opportunities.
From a young age, I’ve been fortunate enough to have incredible mentors, from family members and friends to educators and coaches to professional or hobby connections. The value I’ve found in these relationships has undoubtedly ignited a personal passion for mentoring – no matter how small or big the opportunity – anyone willing to learn and grow in their endeavors.
The data exists to support the value of mentorship in personal and professional settings. Of those with a mentor, 97% feel they are highly impactful and valuable, yet only 37% of professionals have a mentor. The power of mentorship also lies in the “pay it forward” approach: 89% of those who have been mentored will also go on to mentor others.
As an agency, Dittoe PR is rooted in our core value Here We Grow, which is focused on investing in 360-degree growth opportunities for our team members, clients and business. While professional development and opportunities to enhance the more technical skills needed to execute strategic public relations and social media campaigns are critical to success, we have always valued mentorship from within Dittoe PR as well as externally to maximize growth. It offers an additional benefit in the new age of remote-first working in that team members can cultivate a sense of community and higher engagement with their peers.
If you’re seeking a mentoring relationship, here are three ways to build connections:
1. Take the initiative to connect with like-minded people.
Mentorship requires some level of proactive connection. Join professional groups that align with your goals, volunteer for organizations and causes you’re passionate about, set up one-on-one meetings with peers and leaders within your own company, etc. Just as we work to build awareness of our clients with their target audiences, we must understand the value of doing the same for ourselves to support our short- and long-term growth.
2. Make your mentor-mentee relationships mutually beneficial.
Mentorship is not a one-way street. It’s important to create a mutually beneficial and supportive relationship. Whether you are the mentor or the mentee, do not lead or focus only on what you can get out of a relationship. Instead, think of the ways you can give and by doing so, what you may receive in return.
3. Be open to feedback and apply it.
With mentorship often comes a higher level of accountability. A strong mentor is there not only to guide you and uplift you, but sometimes to deliver constructive feedback that can be hard to digest at first. However, this kind of feedback is critical to growth and readiness for what’s next on your big agenda. As a mentee, you must be willing to listen to feedback and, more importantly, apply it moving forward.
Mentorship yields many benefits for both the mentor and mentee, including greater job satisfaction, a stronger network and feeling more empowered and confident. Invest in growth through mentorship, the outcomes are worthwhile.