Vicky Knox is a PA to the Director of the Centre for Food Security at the University of Reading. She is relatively new to the PA profession and secured her first PA role last October, at the University of Reading. Prior to this Vicky worked for a local college which specialises in construction and real estate courses where she learnt a great deal and acquired a number of valuable and transferrable skills in her student support role, and gained in confidence over the 3 years she was there.
When I started my current job, I was lucky enough to be allocated a mentor. I have found this to be invaluable and I firmly believe that I am better at my job because of this.
So, is having a mentor important? I’ve highlighted a few reasons below as to why I think so.
Guidance in a new job: Starting a new job can be hard. It tends to raises a number anxieties and doubts in our mind such as : Will anyone like me? Will I get on with my boss? Will I be able to do the job? Having a mentor can really help alleviate the stress of starting a new job. You instantly have someone to go to with any concerns or questions you may have. Your mentor is likely to be doing a similar job to you and will no doubt have experienced the same emotions as you when they first began heir job. Having someone who is there to offer advice and share their experiences can prove extremely valuable and helpful so learn as much as you can from your mentor during the time you are working with them.
Useful hints and tip sharing: Mentors are usually elected on the grounds that they have either done the same or similar job successfully; therefore you instantly have someone else at work from whom you can gain handy tips on how best to complete different tasks. Also, it’s always good to have someone to go to with those questions you’d rather not ask your boss, particularly about routine day to day administrative tasks.
Access to established networks: If you’re new to the company and in particular new to the profession, having a mentor can help set you up and establish a name for yourself. Your mentor can let you know who the ‘need to know’ people and organisations are, and perhaps even introduce you to some of them. This can really help you to get out of the starting blocks and establish yourself in your chosen profession.
Encourage career ambition: Having a mentor who is passionate about their job and their profession can only have a positive impact on you. To be able to talk to someone who has experience and a real drive to succeed and better themselves will make you strive to do the same.
Whilst a mentor is important at the start of someone’s new job, it can also be just as helpful to continue the relationship for the long-term, perhaps in a more informal way. No matter how experienced you become in your role, there are always times when you wish you had someone to talk to and gain another opinion.
Being given the opportunity to mentor a new colleague can also be very rewarding. It’s your organisations way of saying ‘we trust you to be a positive influence on this new employee’. So, if you know of any new employees starting in your company in the not too distant future, volunteer yourself as a mentor. Not only will you be helping a new colleague, you’ll benefit from the experience too.
Have you ever mentored someone or been mentored? Feel free to share your experience in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.
Do you have a question about mentoring? Feel free to leave your questions below?
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