The past few years, a new trend has emerged, people started to seek the guidance of mentors. But what does this new popular term imply and who needs a mentor? We want to explore this topic a bit further in this article.
Who needs a mentor?
In short – those who want to take the next step in their career. In order to take this next step they need someone more skilled to show them how to do it. According to our experience with mentorship at Boostly.me, there are at least four types of employees that need help from more experienced colleagues:
1. Beginners who are looking for a job in IT. Usually, by their last year of university, they understand that to get enough practical skills and get a job at a good company, they need to use additional sources of knowledge such as online courses. They aim to quickly acquire the necessary skills to successfully go through the interview process.
2. People from other professions that want to switch careers and move into IT. Usually, they complete programming courses, engage in self-learning, start their first IT projects and need active feedback on their progress. They need practical skills, projects for their portfolio and an accurate understanding of how the industry actually works as well as help from an industry expert to prepare for actual job interviews.
3. IT-Specialists of ‘junior’ and ‘middle” levels – developers, designers, qa engineers and many others. These specialists are always learning, because to stand out they need to continuously grow their skills. The competition in the Indian IT market is high, and if they do not constantly improve, then they can easily be replaced. For this reason, these specialists often seek help from a more experienced mentor, for example, to accelerate their career growth.
4. Team leaders – those who have already progressed from a developer to a team leader. For a successful transition into a managerial position, they need to improve upon their management skills and gather ‘soft skills’. Wishing to become the best, they come to learn from the best.
Mentors seek a way out of crisis
Usually, a mentor is a couple grades ahead of a student in the corporate hierarchy, and already has had the time to build a career, acquire skills in his field, and is ready to share them. A mentor has already gone through the path that is just now ahead of you, for this reason, a mentor’s experience is valuable information, acquired after years of work, that will help one avoid rookie mistakes and speed up career growth. For example, our mentors at Boostly.me are specialists with 3+ years of experience from high-ranking IT companies like Google, Microsoft and Facebook.
Mentors usually charge for their services, however, fees are not the main reason why specialists decide to become mentors. Developers and representatives from other IT fields after several years of successful careers end up in a motivational crisis – when the cycle of tasks repeats itself month after month, it brings out the question: “Why do I need all this?”. Mentoring and teaching can give a mentor an “emotional boost” and bring new meaning to their work: by helping others master the profession’s skills, a mentor can look at his own work in a new light – and realize his own value.
Benefits of mentorship
One can accelerate their own professional development in many ways, but the quickest and most effective will definitely be individual work with a mentor. A mentor can identify gaps in your knowledge and create a learning plan in consideration of your personal and professional goals. Unlike online courses, there will be no need to waste time on learning topics that a student is already familiar with.
How does one find a mentor?
Nowadays, there are websites where you can find a mentor for yourself instead of searching for one through colleagues and friends. For example, Boostly.me is a platform for finding industry experts for mentorship in the field of IT. The big difference between these kinds of platforms and online schools is that a student and their mentor will agree amongst themselves on what to study and when to meet on Zoom. This approach allows students to customize their learning process as much as possible and quickly overtake competition, since the pace, frequency and intensity of classes is chosen personally.
Overall, mentorship is definitely a trend that will keep on growing in the next few years and more and more people will seek the guidance of a mentor to grow their careers or get external expertise when they come across difficult tasks.