We usually don’t like to pick favourites but January might be our favourite month. Why? Because it’s Mentoring Month! And if you weren’t familiar with it, it was established in 2002 by MENTOR in a campaign to raise awareness about the need for more mentoring in our society, especially for our youth. It’s also a chance to celebrate the wonderful ways in which mentoring can improve people’s lives.
It’s a great advocacy and one that we think everyone could participate in! How? We’ve got a few simple ideas.
4 Things to Do for a
Meaningful Mentoring Month
1. Thank Your Mentor/s
Whether or not the title “mentor” was used in your relationship, send a thank you to someone who has put in the time to show you the ropes. Whether the mentoring relationship was in the past or continues to this day, take this opportunity to recognise their efforts. Whether it be by picking up the tab for a coffee catch-up, sending them a small treat or token, or writing them a heartfelt thank you card, let them know that their mentorship was, and still is, appreciated.
2. Check In With your Mentee/s
Are you currently taking up the role of mentor for someone? Ask about their holiday and make a plan to catch up. Are they currently experiencing something challenging? Give them a confidence boost by reminding them of the progress they’ve made so far. Have they recently accomplished something major? Congratulate them and send an ”I told you you could do it! 😉” message (we don’t get those very often. Either way, it’s always nice to be reminded that someone believes in us or tells us they’re proud of us. Be that person for your mentee.
3. Find A Mentor or Mentee
Whether it be in a formal program, or just through existing networks, put your hand up to guide someone or to ask for guidance.
- Chat up the newbie at work and see if they need some help navigating their new workplace
- If there’s someone in your friend group who you think can help you navigate a career shift, ask them for their insight and advice!
- Ask a senior manager in your workplace for their input on a challenge you’re facing at work
- If you can, volunteer your time in a youth mentoring program.
- Try to see if there’s a mentoring program in your workplace, an industry body you’re a part of, or even in your alumni association – then join it!
4. Suggest A Mentoring Program to Your Organisation
If you’re part of an organisation, association, or industry body that you think might benefit from a formal mentoring program (TBH, we really can’t think of any that wouldn’t), try seeing who you could talk to about one. It doesn’t have to be a formal conversation. It could just be a quick chat with your supervisor or a suggestion via your employee portal.
This Mentoring Month is an opportunity for us to think about who helped us along the way and try to find ways to be that person for someone else. Mentoring is such a valuable exercise that really does improve the way we work and live, and if we all take some time to partake, our communities will be all the better for it.
Want to learn how to be a better mentor or mentee? Check out our resources and download our eBook: The 10 Qualities and Habits of Highly Effective Mentors! (Tip: It’s not just for mentors!)
Or if you’re looking to get a mentoring program running for your organisation, get prepared with our Complete Mentoring Program Toolkit!