Move over gym membership – try mentoring instead!

The alarm goes off. It’s gym time. You’ve spent so much money on the membership, you have to get out of bed. But … you don’t, again. Fast forward 30 minutes and you wake up a second time, now too late to get to the gym. That gym membership was supposed to represent a new you, a more in control, successful you. Well screw the gym, we’ve got something way better – mentoring. It’ll have a bigger impact on your life and it’s way less sweaty!

The gym might build that summer bod’, but consider what mentoring does do for you. For a start, a bigger salary, a more fulfilling career and better decision making. There’s some serious statistics to back up our enthusiasm. In 2006, Gartner undertook a survey of 1000 employees enrolled in a mentoring program. Here’s what they found:

  • 25% of employees who enrolled in a mentoring program had a salary-grade change, compared to only 5% of workers who did not participate;
  • Mentees were promoted 5X more often than those not in a mentoring program;

Further, for CEOs, Harvard Business Review found:

  • 84% said mentors had helped them avoid costly mistakes;
  • 84% said they had become proficient in their roles faster with a mentor; and
  • 69% were making better decisions.

Research also showed that participants in mentoring programs were 40% more likely to achieve their goals if they write them down, however, this success rate jumps to 70% of participants when they share their goals with a mentor.

So, unlike the gym – you have no excuses. Mentorship is the best commitment you could make. Better than the treadmill and the thigh master combined! Strengthen your skills and grow in confidence with a mentor by your side. Whether you’re the founder of a brand-new startup, self-employed or working your way up the corporation, the benefits of mentorship are numerous.

Here are seven proven benefits of having a mentor:

1. IT’S ALL ABOUT WHO YOU KNOW

You probably already know the importance of networking. Your mentor is an experienced person who probably has a great network and can advise on establishing yours. They may be able to introduce you to like-minded people and spread your name far and wide. A trustworthy mentor in your chosen profession is like carrying a VIP card with you all the time. Never underestimate the power of a broad network – next time you need information, a new job prospect or some insider’s tips, you’ll thank that mentor-given network.

2. STRAIGHT TO THE TOP

Imagine this: a great new job opportunity comes up in your industry. But, by the time you’ve even see the ad, dozens of other people have already applied. Some have even had personal introductions to the CEO and know exactly what to say in the interview. What’s the difference between you and these people? They have well-connected mentors! It’s about time you got one too. Having a mentor is a great way to find out what’s going on in your field. It’s always great to have someone in your corner!

Plus, your mentor will know whether or not you should even apply for the job. Their experience will help you make the best choices for your career progression. A mentor can even help you get a fair salary deal and negotiate the perfect job description. It’s a long ladder ahead of you – fast track to the top with a mentor supporting you.

3. TOUGH LOVE

Your mentor knows you. They know your goals, weaknesses and industry. This means they can give you constructive criticism when you need it. And trust us, we all need it! A mentor can provide guidance on career management and business decisions. They are in the perfect position to say, ‘um, what do you think you’re doing?’ and then give you a much needed high-five when you make the right call. We all need a push in the right direction sometimes, and a mentor has the skills and relationships to do just that. They will see potential benefits and pitfalls that you may miss and their input may be the difference between success and failure. Can you really afford NOT to have a mentor?

4. ACCOUNTABILITY

Studies have found that people are 70% more likely to achieve their goals when they work them out with a mentor. Why? Because of a little something called accountability. Sometimes it’s hard to feel motivated (like when that gym o’clock alarm goes off!) and a mentor is exactly the right person to keep you on track. You will see faster results with a mentor on your side.

5. TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE

If you are having a problem at work, a mentor can give you helpful advice to navigate the problem in a professional way. Their experience and insight can stop mistakes and bring to light new perspectives. Having a sounding board who has your best interests in mind is invaluable. Next time you have a mind-bending office drama or a crippling career decision to make, a mentor will provide the extra brain power you need. A mentor outside of your organisation can provide fresh perspective, expertise, wisdom and practical tools to help you solve any problem. Their advice is more likely to be bias-free – they can tell you the harsh truth when you need to hear it.

6. HINDSIGHT IS 20/20

Imagine being stuck in a frustrating job. You dread walking into the office each morning. But when you talk to your boss about it, they convince you the job is actually great and it’s you who has the problem.

When you ask your family or co-workers for their opinion, often they have no more perspective than you do! That’s where your mentor comes in – a voice of wisdom in the chaos. By definition, a mentor is more experienced than you. They have been through what you’re struggling with now. They have hindsight! This means they can give you informed and impartial advice from a professional point of view. A mentor will be able to tell you the truth – whether it’s time for a career change or just time to knuckle down. This will help you see opportunities and challenges from a more constructive perspective.

7. AIM HIGH

It’s easy to settle for small goals. Say, a pay rise or a corner office. But are you reaching for your true potential? And what about the more personal stuff? Your mentor knows you, your skill set and your real goals. Maybe you want to grow in communication skills or would love to give the end of year speech. Perhaps you want to grow in conflict resolution skills, networking or work/life balance. Mentorship encourages you to aim high and achieve these goals. Learn and grow with a mentor by your side, every step of the way – suggesting shortcuts and cheering you on. Adapt and develop, overcome obstacles, negotiate from different perspectives and understand strategic motivations … with the magic of mentorship!

A gym membership promises abs – if you can ever get out of bed. Mentorship is an infinitely more valuable investment, offering real career growth, personal cheerleading and new opportunities. Choose to give yourself a leg up and give mentoring a try.

To learn more about MentorSelector or to find your mentor or life coach, please click here. We are always looking for more mentors to join our family – its a great initiative that is mutually rewarding for both mentor and mentee. Register now to become a mentor or a mentee.