With our chapter’s mentoring program kicking into gear this month, I spent some time thinking about mentoring. What does it mean to be a mentor? Merriam-Webster defines a mentor as “a trusted counselor or guide.”
How would you describe a mentor? Most of us envision someone more senior than ourselves. Sometimes we use age as a substitute for what we truly are looking for—someone with more experience. Someone who has chartered the waters we are traversing. Someone who knows the blind spots that we cannot even envision.
When I look at the mentors that are impactful for me, they:
- empowered me.
- helped me develop my core values.
- encouraged me to have a growth mindset.
- helped me develop practical life skills apart from my vocation.
- helped me strengthen my relationships and interpersonal skills.
I am grateful to have had many spectacular mentors over the years. Some I have met with on a periodic basis and some I have met with sporadically when I felt I needed them (or sometimes when they felt I needed them). I think meeting on a pre-determined schedule gives me more accountability.
I now pay it forward. Do I continue to have mentors? Yes, but now I have the confidence to help those who have less experience in my vocation. You can pay it forward as well. No matter what stage of your career, there is most likely someone who would benefit from your mentorship!
Ben Houseman, CFP®