January is very aptly National Mentoring Month.
With businesses mapping out their yearly targets and goals, and individuals focusing on self-improvement and new year's resolutions, National Mentoring Month provides a focus on mentoring and how it can help support these efforts.
What is National Mentoring Month?
National Mentoring Month is a widespread campaign aiming to spread awareness around the importance of mentoring in society, as well as celebrate its positive impact.
National Mentoring Month's 3 key goals are:
Raise awareness of mentoring in all its forms
Inspiring more people to become mentors, particularly to young people
Advance the growth of mentoring by encouraging organisations to run mentoring programs for their people
What started as a US youth mentoring movement, has snowballed into a global celebration of the benefits of mentoring in all areas of society, with many organisations, universities, and charities getting involved.
To find out more about the origin of National Mentoring Month, head to founders MENTOR.
How Can You Get Involved With National Mentoring Month?
As there's so much conversation around mentorship and its impact on individuals and society during January, it's the perfect time to get involved!
There are many ways you can engage with mentoring, whether as a mentor yourself, a mentee, a business, or an advocate.
#1 Start a mentoring program at work 👥
If you want to make a real impact, you need to establish a mentoring program in your organisation. Mentoring has so many positive uses in the workplace, including leadership training, diversity and inclusion, on-boarding, graduate retention and more.
But on a more general note, everybody wants to learn, develop and grow in their careers. By formalising and promoting that in a mentoring program, you will end up helping a lot of people. And the great thing is, that 89% of mentees go on to mentor in the future, meaning any mentoring efforts you implement now will have a long lasting impact.
Read our stats on mentoring in the workplace so you can go to whoever's in charge and pitch the idea of mentoring in your organisation with some killer numbers to back it up!
Find out how Guider can support mentoring at work using AI technology.
#2 Find yourself a mentor 🤝
The start of a new year is all about setting goals and thinking about what you want to achieve. With January fittingly being National Mentoring Month, it's a great opportunity to decide to get a mentor for the year ahead.
Mentoring is an incredible way of increasing your self-awareness, career opportunities and confidence. Finding yourself a mentor is therefore one of the most effective ways to take responsibility for your personal development.
How to get a mentor:
Determine why you want a mentor: what are your goals?
Identify potential mentors in your network: who do you admire? Who could help you?
Put in the groundwork – do your research, reach out, and be proactive
Ask to meet to get their advice about a specific topic
When you meet, assess their experience and the chemistry between you to see if they're a good fit
Ask them to be your mentor!
For more detail, check out our full guide:
Remember, mentoring is not a one-way relationship, but a partnership. The more effort you put in, the more you'll get out of it. And you never know, there's a lot your mentor could learn from you too!
#3 Become a mentor 🗣
Being a mentor is a highly rewarding privilege. You have the ability to help somebody else realise their potential, achieve their goals and become the person they want to be.
As much as being a mentor is 'giving back' to a certain extent, it also has many benefits. Mentors experience higher levels of job satisfaction and fulfilment, as well as the opportunity to develop their leadership and management skills.
Harvard Business Review found mentoring to be good for mental health, with mentors experiencing less stress and anxiety at work, and describing their job as more meaningful, than those who did not mentor.
A great way to get involved with National Mentoring Month is by vowing to become a mentor. The easiest way to do this is by speaking to your company and finding out if they have any mentoring schemes you can sign up to. Using mentoring software like Guider allows new mentors to sign up to their organisation's mentoring program in a matter of minutes, and matches them with mentees using AI – removing bias and admin.
Equally, if you would rather mentor young people, reach out to local schools and universities to offer your expertise and guidance!
⭐️ Read our guide to being a great mentor here ⭐️
#4 Share a mentoring story 📝
Never underestimate the power of word of mouth! If you'd like to get involved with National Mentoring Month, but perhaps aren't in a position to get into a mentoring relationship, why not spread awareness of the good mentoring can do from personal experience?
We've all been exposed to mentoring in some shape or form in our lives, even if you've never had an official or formal 'mentor'. Maybe a teacher at school, a colleague or a relative took particular care to teach or support you in some way? These experiences of mentorship at a young age can be extremely formative, helping shape our lives and mindsets. By sharing these stories with others, you may be the person that inspires somebody else to become a mentor or seek out a mentor – it's extremely valuable!
MENTOR – the organisers of National Mentoring Month – are collecting personal stories which advocate mentoring and inspire others to get involved. You can submit your story here.
#5 Thank Your Mentor Day 🙌
National Mentoring Month concludes with official #ThankYourMentor Day on January 30th! The whole month is an opportunity to reflect on mentoring and what it means for you, so it's only right that the last day is an opportunity to thank those who have mentored you.
On January 30th, remember to convey your thanks to the mentors in your life, and encourage those around you to do the same!
One way to do this is to give your mentor a shout out on social media using the hashtag #ThankYourMentor, or even post a more detailed story of the impact they've had on your life. This hashtag will receive a lot of traction on social media channels like LinkedIn and Twitter on the day, so make sure you don't miss out!
Equally, if you and/or your mentor are not a social media person, send them a card or a gift to show your appreciation for their support. This will only strengthen your relationship, and serve as a reminder to them of why being a mentor is a great thing to do!
💡 IDEA 💡 if you're responsible for running mentoring programs or initiatives within your organisation, why not host a Thank Your Mentor Day event to get everyone in the mentoring community together to celebrate the relationships that have formed? It's a great way to keep people engaged, and hopefully inspire a new generation of mentees to become mentors!