Mentoring is one of the most frequently used concepts in business life. So what is its importance for women to rise? How to find a mentor?
In mythology, Mentor is Odysseus’ friend in Ithaca. On his way to the Trojan War, Odysseus entrusts his home and the education of his son Telemachus to his close friend Mentor, saying, “Teach him everything you know.” The Mentor never tells Telemachus what to do, but helps him learn everything necessary and make the right decisions. Therefore, the word mentor is used to mean a guiding, wise friend.
Mentoring is a concept that has been adapted to business life in recent years. In business life, mentor means the person who guides and is consulted. However, this person’s approach does not have a responsibility to say that it has to be done. Of course, this practice, which has existed for 4 thousand years, has always been in our lives with many different names. Mastery, mastery roles are similar systems.
In-house mentoring systems, where experienced managers support new generation managers, are widely used. Likewise, it is necessary to mention employee leadership mentorship as well as executive coaching. In addition to these, there are youth mentorships that are more widely used in university ages.
Men’s “career game”
Undoubtedly, mentoring systems are very important for women to take active positions in business life. Undoubtedly, it is very valuable for someone more experienced than you to put forth all the knowledge and experience for your development. Studies show that women get four times more mentoring than men, but less promotion. Because there are different barriers that mentoring is also difficult for women’s career development. The most important of these obstacles is that the career game is a game set up for men. Therefore, it is necessary to emphasize concepts such as ownership and standing behind, which are called sponsorship, rather than mentors. Men already do this for each other.
What kind of mentoring?
1- Do research and communicate: Identify managers in key positions in your industry. Then try to contact them. You can do this by sending a polite email. You can request an interview by stating that you want to benefit from his experience. It is okay to call after a few days to find out if the email has arrived.
2- Find the vehicle: If you cannot reach the person you want to mentor you directly, try to find the vehicle. Remember, reference always works.
3- Continue as long as you need: Mentoring can take 1 hour or a lifetime. In fact, according to experts, the more mentors you have in different fields, the better. For example, when things start to go wrong, you may have different mentors about how to handle the boss or how to use new technologies.
4- Mentoring is not friendship: You can meet your mentor over a coffee break or lunch, but remember that you don’t meet to be friends with him. Focus on the issues you want to consult.
5- Lead the mentoring practice for the company: Every company can implement a mentoring program within the institution. The main thing to note here is that it is a cross match. So no one should mentor an employee in their report line.
6- There will be mentorship in every line of business: Don’t say “My profession is not suitable for mentoring”. If you are a chemistry teacher, you can get suggestions from the art teacher for giving more creative homework. Just change your perspective a little and get out of your comfort zone.
It’s time for the sponsor
A sponsor is a person in charge of decision-making processes, that is, from the top management, who will defend you for your career advancement. Many experts say the missing link in women’s success is sponsorship.
How will I find a sponsor?
1- Determine the managers that inspire you: According to some experts, the sponsor should choose you. But to increase your chances, consult the managers who influence you in the company you work for and whose leadership you find successful.
2- Find a mentor first: Sponsorships mostly develop from strong mentoring relationships. If you find a mentor among top executives who support you and exchange information and ideas, you will ensure that your mentor gets to know you better. This allows your mentor to sponsor you. If your mentor doesn’t have such activity, ask if they can help you find sponsors.
3- Choose the right sponsor: The wider the domain of your sponsor, the easier it will be to place you in the right place. Make sure that the sponsor you think is suitable for you, has a wide circle and a loved one.
4- Let your potential sponsor see you: Do things that can be noticed to attract the attention of the senior manager you want to impress. Someone who knows your performance is likely to choose you.
5- Make suggestions for improvement: Companies attach importance to different perspectives that will take them to the next level. People who already have these perspectives become senior managers. Be someone who questions what is happening without putting employees in a difficult situation.
How will I benefit from the sponsor?
1- Make an appointment: Set an automatic call reminder. For example, the third Wednesday of every month is like 15:00. As such, it would be more difficult to cancel.
2- Be prepared: Set a title for each meeting and preferably share it with your sponsor beforehand.
3- No need for long meetings: It is better to get together routinely for 15 minutes than to meet for a lunch once.