Secretly selfish reasons to become a mentor

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Tara LamploughThe advantages of having a mentor supporting you are well documented. However, there are lots of positive aspects to being a mentor as well. In this article, Tara Lamplough, Head of Business Partnering, shares her insights into the benefits of being a mentor. 

What is a mentor? 

A mentor shares information about their career path, as well as providing guidance, motivation, emotional support and role modelling to their mentee(s). A mentor may help with exploring career options, setting goals, developing contacts, and identifying resources. 

What do you get out of being a mentor? 

I currently have two mentees at the University, and have worked with several more both formally and informally over the past few years. Whilst the advantages of having a mentor supporting you are more obvious, I thought I’d share a bit from the other perspective; the positive aspects of being a mentor.  

  • Encourages reflection  whilst busy doing everything that needs to get done, we often don’t take the time out to reflect on what we’ve learnt and where we still need to grow. A mentee asking me questions has been really helpful in reminding me of what I‘ve learnt over the years and the skills/knowledge that I now take for granted. 
  • Helping people feels good – I really enjoy seeing the growth, the developing confidence and the successes of my mentees. If I’m investing my time and effort in someone then I’m personally invested – seeing them succeed makes me very happy.  
  • Reframing negatives into positives – most people with some work experience have made mistakes along the way and have experienced negative situations at work. Supporting a mentee through similar situations gives you a do-over as you can guide the situation to a more positive outcome this time. 
  • Learning goes both ways – we can learn from lots of different people. Good ideas and interesting questions can come from any staff, at any level and from any background. We grow when we broaden our perspective and widen our circle.  

Who can be a mentor?

You may not have considered yourself as a potential mentor before. Often, people think they’re not in a senior enough position; or they don’t feel that they have all the answers yet. 

However, being a good mentor is more about being eager to invest in others, and being open to sharing your experiences, than being at a certain level of a management hierarchy.

Seeking IT Services mentors

As part of our Digital Strategy – specifically, the People and Culture theme – we’rsetting up a new mentoring scheme for IT Services staff.  If youd be interested in becoming a mentor, contact Tara Lamplough or Chris Broomfield.