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Make Sure Your Next Job Offers you a Workplace Mentor

Mentoring Programs in the Workplace

Make Sure Your Next Job Offers you a Workplace Mentor

A key benefit for new hires is a workplace mentor.

I recently started a new job, and it’s my dream job. When discussing my killer new role with a couple friends over a celebratory happy hour, one asked if I had a mentor at my new job. I realized that not only do I not have one, but I have no idea how I am supposed to find one. Do I call someone? Is there a store for that?

mentorship programs

This is something my recruiter and I never talked about. I had a mentor at my previous job, but the information shared within this new company can be sensitive, and I want to make sure I’m discussing workplace matters with someone who knows the company well. Panic mode quickly set in. Did I fail to do my homework on this company? Research tells us that there are many (and when I say many, I mean MANY) benefits of mentorship, so why isn’t that a thing at my new job?

In a 2018 benchmarking survey conducted by eMentorConnect, 38% of employees do not even consider if a company has a mentoring program before they apply. However, 62% of eMentorConnect participants said having a mentor prepared them for the next step in their career.

The hard truth is that mentoring IS something I should have looked for. It’s something I wish my recruiter would have talked to me about before I signed on. Support networks are crucial for thriving in a new workplace, and mentors are one of the easiest ways to make your employees feel more connected to the company and the culture and keep your employees from running to HR every time a new question arises.

So here are three things a mentoring program in a workplace can help you with.

Learn the ropes

When we are exposed to something new, we seek information (and lots of it). You can only know so much about a company before you start, and mentors are there to fill in the gaps once you start. Look for places that have immediate mentor matchups, so from day one you will have someone who is looking out for you. Whether it’s talking about teamwork functions, how to not get your food stolen out of the employee fridge, or how to fill out your expense reports… mentors have your back!

Understand expectations

There is nothing better than talking with someone who has been in your shoes. You might be fresh out of school, or working with years of experience in your field, but mentors can help you know what to expect from new supervisors and colleagues. We all want to put our best foot forward when starting a new job and mentors can help you navigate your new corporate landscape.

Help you grow!

Real honest learning never stops, and mentors can help you be self-reflective, identify problem areas, and fine tune skills. Mentors are there to answer questions, help you learn and grow through failures, and (most importantly) they are there to celebrate all of your successes. (77% of eMentorConnect participants say their mentorship program greatly increased their job satisfaction!)

The bottom line is that we should all seek companies that have mentorship programs, to help us be happier at work and more involved in our jobs. The next time you are in an interview or meet with a recruiter, ask about the company’s mentoring resources. There is never any harm in asking. If they partner with a firm like eMentorConnect, you know you’ve found an employer that is serious about investing in their employees. And when you find that perfect job, supported by a well-run mentor network, you will feel like a part of the team from Day 1.

Lane Schwager