On October 8 at The Museum, Laurier is bringing together alumnae committed to advancing women’s leadership. This special series hosted by President Deborah MacLatchy is coming to Waterloo after sold out events in Toronto where I’ve had an opportunity to moderate a session earlier this year.

Please consider attending this 8-10 am event. It is a great opportunity to network and hear from panelists who exemplify volunteerism through mentorship in the community where they work and live. I’ll be moderating the event and hope to see you there. Please use the promo code “Susan” for a 10% discount. 

Mentorship has its benefits. You don’t have to take my word for it. Mentorloop research reveals that 71% of Forunte 500 companies have established mentorship program and 75% of Millennials deem mentorship critical to their success and the same percentage of executives credit their mentors with helping them reach their current positions. 

If you’re an employer considering the value of mentorship, studies show that retention rates were much higher for mentees at 72% and mentors at 69%, than for employees who didn’t participate in mentoring programs at 49%.

Mentorship allows you to connect people and improve knowledge transfer along with a greater sense of connectedness. It allow employers to empower their workforce through feedback and experiences all while fostering a better culture.

If you’re looking for a mentor, consider these 5 questions before making your ask:

  1. Do their values align with yours?
  2. Are they able to communicate in a way you can easily understand?
  3. Are they willing and available to mentor you? 
  4. Are you clear about the expectations you have for the mentorship relationship? Know what you need from each meeting and how you can best be encouraged and supported.
  5. It there a personality fit? Matching pace and style is important. If you’re an introvert and the mentor is an extravert, it may create come challenges in style and fit.

Mentoring relationships don’t have to be long-term commitments. They can be as brief as a meeting or two. If things shift or don’t work out the way you expected, be prepared for transparency and to be clear about creating an opportunity for both of you to move one. No matter how long your mentoring relationship lasts, you can learn and benefit from the experience.

It’s never too soon to be a mentor. If someone approaches you and asks for your advise and insight, consider their request because everyone can learn from someone else’s experience or perspective. 

Mentorship relationships are a helpful tool in your professional development toolbox. Consider having or being a mentor to foster powerful connections and expand your network.