You have what it takes to be a mentor

As a paediatrician, there are many reasons you should become a mentor… Not only is it an essential part of your career development, but the skills and experiences you will acquire along the way will be incredibly valuable to you and your career.

Here are six reasons you should become a mentor:

1. Grow professionally

To be able to successfully support your mentee you will need to make sure you’re up-to-date on policies and procedures, etc. This will also make you better at your job and even more valuable to your organisation.

2. Achieve personal career gains

Mentors are seen as achievers, people who go the extra mile to help others, exerting a beneficial and positive influence on others lives. And, that can lead to huge career opportunities.

Your colleagues will also see you as a leader, and someone who is willing and able to help others, garnering you respect from both your peers and those senior to you.

3. Practice leadership

Leadership is a valuable skill that you will need, and a key part of it is mentoring. Having an ability to help others to learn and progress in their professional development will be essential for your career.

You not only reinforce valuable leadership lessons, but you also question and refine your thinking and approaches. You’ll improve your communication skills, too.

4. Deepen your skills

Teaching a mentee any skill will help strengthen what you know about that subject. Needing to be clear about performing that skill or duty will make you think hard about it and try to see it from someone else’s perspective.

This will improve your skills enormously, especially when you then need to explain it.

5. Shape tomorrow's leaders

Mentees are often, though not always, younger than you. Sharing and discussing your experiences will help your mentee understand how you have made decisions and progressed in your career. This will give them valuable insight on how to approach challenges for themselves and even be able to improve upon your approach.

6. Change your mentee's life

It’s natural for potential mentors to think they don’t have much to offer. But, collaborating with someone who has a different background can be immensely rewarding for both of you. Helping others is its own reward, and that may sound simple, but it's a very powerful reason.

Mentoring is greatly rewarding. It will allow you to engage with people who will see things differently and this will both challenge and satisfy you. Throughout your career, you will work with a wide range of people and you must be able to relate to them, mentoring is the perfect way to begin that process.