The relationship between mentee and mentor is similar to an athlete and their coach. The coach is there to help guide and hone the talent an athlete already possesses. The coach motivates and teaches new techniques and strategies to help athletes reach their greatest potential.
Mentorship is one of the most vital tools for Black professionals. It helps create more inclusive workspaces by bridging the gap between career success and overall fulfillment. It can provide validity and relevance to personal goals within and outside the company. Mentees can also acquire skills that go beyond formal training.
But, many Black professionals crave a feeling of belonging in the workplace. Having access to mentors that not only can boost their careers but acknowledge what they’re up against along their journeys.
Employees go further with adequate support
Black professionals are more likely to quit their jobs due to racism and disrespect, according to a study. Seasoned Black professionals can help junior leaders of tomorrow navigate these spaces through mentorship. Demonstrating the power of self-advocacy, showing up authentically, and making valuable connections are learned behaviours that come with experience. Experience that mentees gain over time. It can benefit less-tenured employees to attain the knowledge and mental fortitude necessary to succeed in any particular company.
When you take the time to invest in a less experienced person’s success, you open them to opportunities they may not have had without your endorsement. Professionals support fresh talent by advocating to amplify their unique skills and qualifications to gain access to promotions and recognition. During meetings and board rooms where newer employees may or may not be in attendance, having a trusted ally is crucial.
Mentorship also helps healthily challenge the receiver’s capabilities. Without competition, talent can grow without fear of failure but with excitement for how far they can go.
Mentorship is a two-way street
The support that mentorship provides is life-impacting. Many of the world’s most successful people attribute mentors as keys to their ascendancy. They had someone take a personal interest in them, being sure to support their causes, career-oriented or otherwise, and push them to achieve their highest potential.
Mentors need to pass down knowledge and create safe spaces, but it is equally essential for mentees to be invested in seeking out mentors. A simple introduction can become a meaningful bond where the commonalities benefit both mentor and mentee.
“It’s been a wonderful experience for me, and one can only hope for my mentee. It led me to find my [own] mentor through the BYP Network, and Yasmine Mohamed managed to reinvigorate my drive and self-worth.” – Koby Agagah, Marketing Manager
Mentorship stands to present mutually beneficial relationships. The perspective of their mentees can also inspire older and more experienced people. Both parties can find more meaning in their work and loyalty to a company or cause.
Learning from others’ work styles or lifestyles is an opportunity to broaden your view on operating within specific infrastructures and maximise productivity.