Matt is a very lucky guy in many aspects. One in particular he’s been blessed with having not one, but two exceptional mentors in his short lived career. I’ve heard countless stories of both mentors and they not only are mentors to Matt while he was working with them, but they still contact one another. To me, an awesome mentor is someone who is trusted and someone you can talk about about more than your career and professional life. I want a mentor who I trust and can go to for advice across many subjects. One day, I hope we all have an opportunity to have mentors (or be mentors) like the one Matt writes about in his guest blog post below.
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what makes a mentor
guest blog presented by: Matthew D. Shalbrack
You can find Matt on Twitter: @hamsterjockey; insta: hamsterjockey, make sure you follow him!
By definition, a mentor is “an experienced or trusted adviser” or even more descriptive, a “an experienced person in a company, college, or school who trains and counsels new employees or students.”
In my short 23 years, I’ve had two different types of mentors, both of whom were bosses of mine at one point in my career.
Both of these individuals, who shall remain nameless, are mentors of mine for different reasons. I think that aspect of this story is very important because I think there are some very important criteria that must be met in order to be considered someone’s “mentor.”
The biggest thing for me is that a person must trust you to do your job correctly just as much as you trust them to be fair to you when being your superior. It means relying on you to do not only the miniscule tasks, but the hard and challenging tasks as well. At the same time, it means that this person doesn’t act like a boss, they act as a friend until you screw up and they need to lay the hammer down, which they don’t have any problem doing. Another important thing that a “mentor” has in my opinion is that they trust your judgment, 100%, no questions asked.
One of the other important things that I find to be a characteristic of both of my mentors is that they bring out good qualities, the ones that you were hired for, in you to use them to not only help you grow, but to help the organization/company grow as well. They take all of your strengths and help you make them grow even stronger while taking your weaknesses and help you grow them into strengths. This person also always wants you to succeed no matter what, even if it’s for a different company. In turn, that desire for success applies to them from you, too.
Finally, this person always has time for you, no matter if it’s on the clock or off the clock. Whether it be sitting in their office after hours for 15 minutes extra or going out for a dinner to discuss not only work-related things, but to discuss life in general. That’s the type of mentor I want.
I’ve been lucky this far in my career where I’ve had two people who have fulfilled all of those things and more for me. They’ve allowed me to grow, to harness my talents, help pinpoint my weaknesses and teach me how to fix them, all while not being afraid to keep me informed on the things that I need to work on or call me out when I screw up. People like this are irreplaceable in both life and the workplace. If you’ve met someone like this, a person that you can really call a “mentor,” you’re lucky. Those friendships will last a lifetime. If you haven’t yet, keep your head up because you’re bound to meet someone like this.