Young professionals in the construction, engineering, and environmental industries who are serious about rising to the top of the profession will seek a mentor to guide them through their education and early career. A good mentor can provide insight into the industry and help these young professionals find the opportunities that will develop their skills and expertise.
This article speaks specifically about the importance of mentoring in the construction industry, and why it’s critical “… to invest more heavily in the success of the youngest ones among us-personal, one-on-one mentoring… to identify potential and encourage professional development.” The author shares how the one-on-one attention 竹棚 he received throughout his career brought him to where he is today. In this interview, a construction project manager says that mentoring was key to keeping her in the industry, and she suggests it as a method of retaining top talent.
Becoming a mentor is a privilege, but it’s also an opportunity. You might find yourself connecting with some promising talent that you can bring to your firm, or if your mentee is already at your firm, you have the opportunity to guide him to a position that will benefit the entire company. It’s a job that should be taken seriously. Here are seven tips to help you be a great mentor.
1. Be Honest
Do you really want to be a mentor? Is it inspiring, or do you feel like it’s a hassle? To be a great mentor, you have to want to be a mentor. If you don’t feel you can offer your mentee what she is looking for, don’t agree to the position.
2. Be Clear About Expectations
Each mentor-mentee relationship is unique. Some mentees might want to pick your brain once over dinner. Others will meet with you regularly for years. The Environmental Leadership Mentoring program at Yale University requires that you “… outline the structure and expectations of the relationship” and “work with your mentee to set professional goals for the year.”
This Journal of Extension article confirms that having clear roles and responsibilities and clear long- and short-term goals are important to a healthy mentoring relationship. If you’re not both happy with the arrangement, you’re both better off finding a new partner.
3. Know Your Focus
A young anthropologist is best matched with an experienced anthropologist, not an oceanographer. Make sure your mentee has goals that line up with the career path you’ve taken so you can best mentor him along that path.