Mentoring is a professional relationship where a more experienced person, a mentor, assists a less experienced person, a protégé, to develop skills and knowledge to enhance the protégé's personal and professional growth. Mentors teach, coach and challenge their protégés by sharing professional and personal information, advice and connections, typically through a formal program and then possibly continuing in an informal mentoring relationship.
BENEFITS OF MENTORING
Mentors become trusted advisors and role models by supporting and encouraging their protégés with suggestions and knowledge, both general and specific. Mentoring may include the following benefits.
- Gaining valuable advice. Mentors can offer valuable insight into your career field. They can help you decide the best course of action for situations you may encounter and can teach you how to work more effectively.
- Developing your knowledge and skills. Mentors can assist you in identifying the knowledge and skills to help you advance in your career field.
- Improving your communication skills. Mentors can teach you the language of your career and develop ways for you to communicate effectively with others in your career field.
- Learning new perspectives. By working with someone more experienced in your career field, you will learn new ways of thinking, which will help in your work life as well as your personal life. Because you are new to the career, your perspective may offer your mentor an opportunity to see the career field from a fresh point of view as well.
- Building your network. Mentors can help you expand your existing network of personal and professional contacts.
- Advancing your career. Mentors can help you stay focused and on track on your career path by offering advice, assisting with skills development and creating networking opportunities.
FINDING A MENTOR
Regardless of your education, employment or social goals, you can benefit from working with a mentor. Mentors can offer tips on your job search as you move to new locations, introduce you to connections in your chosen field, share advice on overcoming challenges and act as a sounding board when you get frustrated. Take advantage of the opportunity to build your network and receive assistance from mentors focused on helping you achieve your goals.
The Department of Defense Military Spouse Employment Partnership recognizes the importance of mentors and welcomes MSEP partners who provide mentorship opportunities for military spouses. The Military Spouse Employment Partnership partners currently providing mentoring opportunities include:
- Military Spouse eMentor Program - An online community where spouses connect with experienced spouses, career mentors and employers to receive career guidance, advice and support.
- Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Professional Network - Local chapters provide career-minded spouses with networking opportunities, professional development programs, community involvement and peer-to-peer mentoring.
- Blue Star Networks - A place for military spouses to share professional information, network and get the scoop on licensing requirements across the country in three targeted groups:
- Blue Star Educators
- Blue Star Entrepreneurs
- Blue Star Health Care Professionals
- Military Spouse Foundation - Military spouses providing one-on-one mentoring, community discussions and expert forums with a focus on career planning and entrepreneurship.
Take advantage of the opportunity to expand your network and explore your options for mentoring by visiting the websites listed above. Call 800-342-9647 to receive more information on mentoring from a career coach.