A recent article in Forbes written by Chris Myers, Cofounder and CEO of BodeTree, accentuates the invaluable role a mentor can play in shaping a young professionals future. In the article, Myers notes the many benefits mentorship can offer, from both personal and professional guidance, to business opportunities, leads and connections.
But Myers is also quick to emphasize the responsibility of the young professional to seek out what he calls “accelerators,” and initiate relationships with these professionals.
“Mentors aren’t going to go out of their way to drag someone along if they don’t show initiative,” says Myers. “Mentorship is something that requires strong commitment from both parties, and takes a lot of effort. The end results, however, are more than worth it. I can personally attest to the fact that the lessons, connections, and opportunities that mentors provide are invaluable. It’s up to you, however, to ask and take advantage of what mentors can offer.”
A recent Gallup-Purdue University study of college graduates also found that “support and experiences in college had more of a relationship to long-term outcomes for these college graduates.” For example, they note, “If graduates recalled having a professor who cared about them as a person, made them excited about learning, and encouraged them to pursue their dreams (i.e. a mentor), their odds of being engaged at work more than doubled, as did their odds of thriving in all aspects of their well-being.” This study exemplifies the long-lasting impact mentorship can have on students even after their transition into the working world.
One of the great benefits of Junior Achievement programs to young professionals is the volunteer component that brings great mentors from the business community and community at large, right into the students’ classroom. Junior Achievement® programs eliminate the need for a student to actively seek out successful businessmen and women to serve as mentors. These men and women serve as volunteer teachers and mentors who become easily accessible when they enter into the student’s classroom.
As Myers concludes his article, “The benefits that you can gain from a good mentor relationship can outweigh grad school, natural ability, and even dumb luck. The key is to have the foresight and humility to ask to be mentored. If you start there, you’ll find that there are plenty of accelerators in your life who can add value. More importantly, you can take it upon yourself to add tremendous value for them.”