No matter how much talent you possess in your field, adjusting to a new workplace can still take time and effort. One of the best ways to boost your work performance quickly while learning the unspoken rules of the road is to find a mentor. How to go about seeking out one in a new working environment?
You can adopt behaviors that encourage finding an office mentor. Several studies indicate that workplace mentorship improves productivity, and such a program also boosts morale, so employers should know it’s worth it to help you find a mentor, and they should be receptive to doing so. Here’s how to start the process.
Don’t just embrace diversity, live it
Try to choose someone as different from you as possible. Working with those from various backgrounds helps us open our minds and see the world in a new way. When it comes to solving difficult workplace problems, the more willing you are to think outside the proverbial box, the more likely you are to find a solution quickly.
Create flexibility whenever possible
Workplace mentorship works best when it’s convenient for both parties to touch base when need be. If your employer offers flexible schedules, try to find someone who works a similar schedule as your own. It’s much easier to ask a quick question when it pops into mind than it is to write a lengthy list of things to discuss later.
Try a non-hierarchical approach
Pairing up with an employee who works in the upper echelon of your organization may be beneficial, as you can relay important information to them about the unique challenges of your position.
Choosing a mentor with a different pay grade can help you move up in your career, but it can also help you approach workplace issues with greater creativity. Knowing how the cogs turn at different levels of an organization will give you a stronger sense of the company’s overall mission.
Give as well as receive
Becoming a mentor means adding to an employee’s job description, and few appreciate their hard work going unnoticed. As a mentee, you can show your appreciation with a sincere thank you note or other small token of gratitude. Mentorship isn’t a one-way street — mentors can learn from those they help, too.
Build a personal connection
Discussing personal matters at work can edge into the inappropriate category quickly, but few people enjoy working with a mentor with whom they don’t click at all. Showing a little personality can strengthen workplace relationships, including the one you have with your mentor.
For this reason, you should wait a little bit after getting hired to request a specific mentor. Once you find someone you vibe with, request to be paired with your new cubicle friend.
Share goals honestly
If you wish to advance your career, you should share your aspirations with your coworkers and mentor. There’s a reason one of the most popular interview questions is, “Where do you see yourself in five years,” after all.
Creating and sharing a career plan is one way to attain success. Mentors who know where the person they support hopes to go in their work life can help them along the way, so this kind of communication will help make your relationship with your mentor more beneficial.
Learn how to ask questions when unsure
Many people shy away from asking too many questions at work out of fear doing so will make them appear incompetent. However, learning how to ask the right questions can lead to greater career success. It also helps employers in understanding what motivates their coworkers to perform well. So ask questions!
Career success means finding a mentor
Even the smartest people don’t know everything. Finding the right workplace mentor helps new staff learn the ropes while laying the groundwork for career success. The benefits of having a mentor go far beyond what we could include in a list, so look into your options at your workplace to see how you can start building one of these wonderful connections.