Can A Mentor Help With Your Construction Career?
As you might imagine I spend a fair bit of time on LinkedIn and like many specialist recruitment professionals I find LinkedIn pulse a great source of information.
Over the past few months there has been a series of articles about the value of mentoring as a way to fuel organisational growth.
It’s been at the top of my mind recently as I am working with a number of ambitious individuals in the construction field. Many of whom want to develop their career and are looking for support and help from many different sources. It has been in this context that the subject of mentoring has been raised.
Mentoring might sound ‘new wave’ it isn’t. It’s been around for years with many of today’s successful business owners and employees reaping its untold benefits.
Mentoring relationships can be set up both in and out of organisations.
Twitter product chief Kevin Weil considers former Twitter CEO, Dick Costolo, his mentor. Whilst Sir James Dyson the industrial designer, was mentored by Jeremy Fry (1924-2005) a British inventor, adventurer, and engineer who he personally approached and asked for help.
A good mentor is both an advisor and supporter and hopefully cares enough to make a difference.
Mentoring Vs Coaching
In truth it isn’t either or, both have an important place when it comes to developing and progressing your construction career. Here are a couple of differences.
Coaching is task orientated. The focus will be on specific issues that are often skill orientated. So the coach (content expert) teaches the coachee the skills.
Mentoring is relationship focused. It seeks to provide a confidential environment where you are able to share whatever issues might be affecting your construction career or personal success. Though learning and skills might have been talked about when you first created the relationship, its focus goes beyond these areas to include things, such as self-confidence and self-perception.
Leading on from this, coaching tends to be short term with a specific outcome in mind. Mentoring, is relationship orientated and consequently is longer term. An ex colleague of mine is still in regular connection with a mentor he started working with 15 years ago.
Will a mentor help my construction career?
Short answer; yes. It depends on your career goals. If you want to be successful and develop a great career working with a mentor is a logical choice.
How do I choose?
The easiest way is to decide what it is that you want when it comes to your career and life goals. If you want different project experience or eventually want to be a manager or leader you will need to consider where specifically your development gaps are. You then have facts to work with that will identify what areas specifically, need addressing.
Where can I find one?
The truth? They are all around you. Who do you admire in the construction world? Who would you love to emulate? Don’t let a lack of previous contact with an individual put you off approaching them. There might be someone in your current organisation, which would be perfect for you.
Like all things in life set finding a mentor as a goal and you will be surprised who suddenly pops up in your life.