Why every MUA needs a mentor
DID YOU KNOW: Mentoring can be traced back to ancient Greece as a technique to impart to young men important social, spiritual and personal values.
In the mid-70s, corporate America redefined mentoring as a career development strategy. In general there needs to be a strong foundation of mentoring to build and retain a healthy business that can react quickly to change and can develop, adapt, and regenerate itself over time.
Mentoring relationships range from loosely defined, informal associations in which a mentee learns by observation and example to structured, formal agreements between expert and novice co-mentors where each develops professionally through the two-way transfer of experience and outlook.
In either case, the goal of mentoring is to provide career advice, as well as both professional and personal enrichment. What MUA businessperson wouldn’t want that?
From the perspective of a young MUA, it is imperative that you seek out mentors who can help, guide and take you to the next level. Just having a mentor is not enough though; it is important to make sure that you look for people who you can relate to, and be comfortable with.
With this in mind, here are some important tips on what sort of mentors to look for and how to make best use of them:
- A good mentor takes you out of your comfort zone
There will always be people around to provide solace, but a good mentor encourages you to keep improving and pushes you into new experiences.
- Strengths and weaknesses
It is imperative to find someone who encourages you to improve on your weaknesses. The mentor need not be exactly similar, in fact, finding someone with different skill sets than yourself allows insight into things that you don’t know off.
- Utilise the mentor productively
Once you find the right mentor, it’s important to pace things. Going too fast in the process often leads to issues that can be detrimental to the purpose for which you got the mentor in the first place. It’s crucial that things are planned and executed with benchmarks and balance.
- Perception vs reality
The mentor should be someone who can not only take hard questions, but also give solutions that make sense and add value. From a mentee’s perspective, it is important that you don’t hold back; but rather make sure the things that are bothering you are laid out plainly for the mentor to provide help with.
- Don’t feel like you have to find someone in your industry or in the same location, or even sex
Try and find those who are very different from yourself because this will provide the best range of possibilities and perspectives. Also, remember, in this new digital world, you can foster a mentor-mentee relationship via Skype, Facetime and other virtual online tools.
Mentoring brings about a difference that has been scientifically proven and it’s imperative that you as an MUA who is beginning your business or are even at a mid-level stage, try and look for a mentor, and once you find a good one, hang on to them!
What do you think? Do you have one? Would you get one? Do you want one? Tell us!