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National Mentoring Month

National Mentoring Month

by Mary Clymer on January 19, 2021

National Mentoring Month Reminds You that Future Success is in Your Hands
Get Involved Locally to Make a Difference Now

Looking for opportunities to make a difference in your community? January marks a new year and it’s no surprise that it’s National Mentoring Month. A time to commit to new goals and experiences that make this world a better reflection of new and positive change.

 2020 striped away a lot of our extra-curricular activities, leaving us wondering what to do with all that extra time. You are tired of scrolling through social media as it reflects an image of our nation that doesn’t feel good. We have been physically distancing ourselves and you’re feeling very separate and alone. 

Deciding to focus your attention on ways to better yourself and your community begins when you realize you are a reflection of your environment. 


Committing to a cause greater than yourself is rewarding in many ways. And it’s a powerful way to boost your career forward, even in troubled times. 
 
There are many ways to get involved locally, but today we’re going to focus on mentoring. A growth tool for both the mentor and the mentee. 

Greater career success has been linked to people who mentor. If you work for an organization that embraces mentoring that means you are working with a Fortune 500 mindset.
 

Mentoring leaves an impact on your mentee and greater community for years and years to come. 

There’s no secret to success here. Mentoring takes work. If you are looking to become a successful mentor you must also have buy-in from your mentee. A relationship that helps each of you be responsible for showing up and being accountable to the other. 

What Makes a Good Mentor?

 

A good mentor has to be willing to share their journey. Both the failures and success. You must be ready to walk your talk because your mentee is watching you both what you say and what you do. You need to be able to have real conversations that help push your mentee to be their best. 

If you have a desire to help develop someone without any financial reward then mentoring could be right for you. Those who understand what success looks like understand the rewards of giving from oneself. 
 

Watching as your mentee experiences success and breakthroughs is the reward. 

Knowing you are making a difference for the future is the reward. 

 

The time and energy you put into your mentoring relations will speak volumes. So it’s important to find a mentoring program that fits your lifestyle and education. 

Your years of knowledge and expertise in the workforce might be exactly the edge your mentee needs to succeed. 

You have the opportunity to provide valuable learning opportunities that perhaps you would have benefited from. 

Working with a mentee helps your growth mindset. You learn patience and understanding. It helps connect you to people in your community whom you might never have the opportunity to meet. 

We all know the best teachers are the ones who get in there and show a real concern for their students. Teachers that push us to be better, learn more, dive deeper. That is exactly what a good mentor will accomplish too.

As you help develop work and life skills for your mentee you will notice the same within yourself. You will find yourself being a more active listener, asking more meaningful questions, and learn how to share stories from your personal life in a way that provides insight. 

Even with the ongoing pandemic, there are a ton of mentoring opportunities all around our area. Mentor Washington is constantly updating its Facebook page and website with new developing opportunities.

Here in Renton Walker’s Renton Subaru offers on-site training and development through both Mentor Washington and a partnership with the Renton School District through the CTE program.

Other more challenging opportunities are needed at Eileen & Callies place. A non-profit that specializes in helping young ladies who’ve aged out of the foster care system be paired with dependable adults who help keep them on a path towards success. 

The other side of this relationship is the Mentee. 
 

So what makes a good mentee?

 

If you are feeling like you need direction you are not alone. We all could use some words of encouragement as we move through life. And just like a successful mentor, mentees also must commit to the relationship. That means you have to be committed to whatever mentoring program you are working with. 

This is important because if you as a mentee are not invested then all the effort of the mentor will fall on deaf ears. This leaves you both feeling like you’re wasting your time. Your mentor is doing this for no reward other than to play an active role in your success. They typically don’t have to be there, they choose to be there and you need to as well. 

A good mentee is someone ready to expand their abilities and take steps to achieve their goals. 

 

You must be clear about what it is you are looking to get from a mentor. You have to communicate your needs so together you can create a plan for success. 

You must be willing to ask for help and admit when you mess up. Being vulnerable is tough, but it shows that you are willing to grow and expand. 

You have to be ready to step outside your comfort zone and try new things. Sometimes we hear ideas that sound silly, but you must trust that your mentor is looking out for your best interest.

Feedback is a part of mentoring, so be prepared to accept some constructive feedback. Don’t take it personally. Those who are about to be open to feedback and take suggestions are more agile in the workplace and easier to get along with. Not everyone can do this because we have big egos, but it is a key element for success. 

Most importantly a mentee must be personally responsible for themselves. If you are going to grow you must be ready to take action. Your mentor is there to help you, like a coach, but you must do the work yourself. 

 

 

The Relationship

 

When both parties are committed a mentoring relationship will feel natural. The chance for creating something powerful feels possible and both parties will reap the rewards. 

Goals can be achieved when we work together to develop and grow together. 

 

This is true in life. Whether you are meeting virtually or in-person it’s that commitment to growth and development that is needed. 

YOu are now both set up to succeed together. Like all relationships, it will grow stronger if both pirates take the time to get to know each other and see each other as people beyond the tasks at hand.  

Allow for time in your meetings to check in on a personal level. It helps put everyone at ease and builds trust.  

After your meeting, take time to reflect so you can serve the relationship better.  

Now is the time to get involved. You will find mentoring opportunities on the City of Renton Website, Mentor Washington, Communities in School, and the Renton Chamber Website.  

If you are looking for something specific please reach out and let us know how we can connect you to the right opportunities. 

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