A two-way street: why being a mentor will benefit you

Following the launch of the EI’s new mentoring programme, EI Connect, Emily Brown Professional Development Manager at the Energy Institute discusses the benefits of becoming a mentor and the transformative impact it can have on your career.

Emily Brown, Professional Development Manager, Energy Institute

The right mentor can change your life.

Having an experienced, trusted supporter to give you advice and help you realise your biggest career, business or life goals is invaluable.

Mentors have guided some of the world’s most influential people – Bill Gates had Warren Buffet, Tina Turner mentored Mick Jagger, and Sir Richard Branson had Sir Freddie Laker. Not everyone gets to see their name in lights of course, but as a mentor you can play a pivotal role in helping others unlock their true potential.

It’s easy to see the benefits that a mentee gets out of this relationship – after all the traditional dynamic sees you providing support and guidance to help a mentee grow and develop. There has never been a more exciting time to be connecting and sharing your experience in energy – and it might surprise you just how much a mentor stands to gain from this experience too.  

How will becoming a mentor benefit your career?

Knowing that your skills and experience has helped someone else to succeed is a great feeling, but the feel-good factor of helping others progress is just the start. Here are 5 reasons why becoming a mentor will benefit you.

1. You’ll widen your perspective

It might sound obvious, but working with a mentee gives you fresh insight into how others, different to yourself, see the world and approach challenges. Don’t underestimate the power of reverse mentoring – your mentee will inevitably possess knowledge and skills that you don’t. Talent has no age!

2. You’ll hone your management skills

Through the mentoring relationship you’ll experience your mentees ups and downs, enabling you to refine, adapt and improve your own management style. Remember that not everyone is the same, and your mentee may learn and respond to things in ways that are unfamiliar to you. The ability to adapt your management style, based on others working preferences, is an invaluable skill.

3. You’ll enhance your career prospects

As a sounding board for your mentee, you’ll naturally learn how to improve your active listening and questioning skills, allowing you to develop your ability to empathise, motivate and build rapport. Be receptive to feedback from your mentee on how you can better help them – this learning will inevitably blend into your own role and aid your own development. A Sun Microsystems’ case study comparing its employees career progression revealed mentors were 6 times more likely to be promoted.

4. You’ll sharpen your problem solving skills

Working with a mentee will expose you to problems and challenges you may not otherwise have experienced before. When guiding your mentee towards a solution, you develop your own problem-solving skills in the process, not to mention gaining knowledge in new areas.

5. You’ll better understand your own experience

Your experiences may seem quite ordinary to you, but when you participate in a mentoring program you will see how beneficial and helpful those experiences can be to those upcoming in your profession. The value of knowledge sharing is immense to those that follow you – don’t be scared to share some used wisdom!

Want to become a mentor?

EI Connect is all about sharing your skills and experience in the energy sector and growing as a professional. To join EI Connect, you need to be an Associate or professional member of the EI.

Once you’ve joined as a mentor, our digital platform will help to pair you with potential mentees and guide you through each stage of your mentoring relationship with prompts, guidance and advice.

For more information and to sign up please visit: https://energyinst.org/membership-and-careers/ei-connect

If you are not currently an EI member, you can register on our website here: https://energyinst.org/membership-and-careers/membership#associate

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