A mentor is extremely important for anyone (especially admins!) who wants to grow professionally and be successful.
You’re never too young or old, too experienced, or too busy to reap the benefits of mentorship. There are always people to learn from and lessons you can teach others.
Mentorship is often viewed as something that’s done in person, but it has many other forms, too. And to fully take advantage of mentoring, it’s important to look at it from a bigger, broader perspective.
This is the traditional type of mentorship, and it’s still highly effective in helping you advance and enrich your professional skills and knowledge. Face-to-face mentoring takes a little more legwork in the sense that you have to schedule and meet with someone. However, the benefits are that you can develop a more personal relationship with your mentor a lot quicker than other mentoring methods. In-person mentoring is great for any admin who wants to forge a long-term, solid relationship with someone and is willing to make the commitment to regular meetings.
Thanks to technology, mentoring can now be done from just about anywhere. And the benefits are real. Social media, Skype, video chat, FaceTime, and email have all made long-distance mentoring relationships possible. Plus, having a mentor in another city, state, or even country can provide a unique perspective, and possibly more flexibility in scheduling times to “meet.” Virtual mentoring is ideal for all admins who are comfortable with technology. But it’s especially relevant to those who don’t have the time for face-to-face meetings, or people who aren’t comfortable sharing their thoughts/questions in person.
Mentors from Other Generations
A lot of people think a mentor has to be someone older, or at least in their own generation. But that’s completely untrue. In fact, having a mentor from a different generation can provide new insights and information that you may otherwise miss. For example, Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) have a very different work style and outlook than previous generations. Likewise, Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) tend to have a lot more professional/life experience under their belts and can share valuable, first-hand knowledge. There’s no age limit on being mentored – and there’s no age limit on who can mentor either!
A mentor is any experienced person you trust who can provide you with advice. But a mentor doesn’t have to be someone you have direct contact with. You can read a person’s books or blog, attend their webinars and events, listen to their podcasts, follow them on social media, or learn from them from afar.
Mentorship takes time and effort. However, it can lead to new perspectives, connections, and opportunities. And with so many mentoring options and so many mentors out there, there’s no excuse not to have one. You just need to get out there and find one (or more!) that will work for you.
© 2014 Julie Perrine International, LLC
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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity. And request your free copy of our special report “From Reactive to Proactive: Creating Your Strategic Administrative Career Plan” at www.AllThingsAdmin.com.