As young Millennials encounter older generations in the workplace, relationships can be built between employees that benefit both sides through a process called mentoring. A mentor is a fellow employee at the company or one who also works in the same field. They can be someone a Millennial can discuss workplace issues or concerns as well as simple everyday questions.
Baby Boomer Sara Jansen said she thinks mentors aren’t just a passing fad.
“I see mentors being very important in the next few years as different generations are coming into the workforce. I think a mentor would be an asset with the younger generation helping them learn how to handle office situations, how to handle office meetings and how to deal with interoffice situations,” Jansen said.
Jansen said mentors had never been offered at any of her jobs, though it would have been helpful.
“I have never had a mentor at any of my jobs. At [my current job], I had about three weeks training from the lady who I was replacing,” Jansen said. “I think a mentor would be very useful, especially in companies that are large, have many corporate offices throughout the country and internationally. When you deal with several different cultures you run into many different ways of thinking and views on how companies will handle situations.”
Mentorship – It takes two
According to an article by Levo League, an online community of professional women who share the advice and tools required to achieve career goals, “mentorship is ultimately about collaboration, sharing ideas, asking for feedback and not being afraid to ask for help or advice.”
Young Millennial and Wartburg College student Angela Zook served as a mentor during her high school years and believes the relationship created between a mentor and a mentee is incredibly valuable.
“Both people involved in mentoring are positively affected. The mentee has someone he or she can go to for questions about anything and has a role model,” Zook said. “The mentor gains leadership skills in helping give life lessons to someone.”
As a student, Zook said her current mentors are mostly faculty at her college, but looks forward to finding new mentors outside of college.
“I think mentors are important in all aspects of life, especially in the workplace when you first start out a job. You need advice, the best way to carry out a task and even life lessons,” Zook said.
Beneficial to all
Before asking someone to become your mentor, Management Mentors suggests sitting down with the mentor prospect and really getting to know them. Later, send a formal email asking them to consider the possibility of mentorship.
Jansen said though the workplace is full of different generations, mentorship does not just benefit younger employees.
“Generations think differently now and have different opinions on how business works,” Jansen said. “They could both help each other bridge that generation gap by working together more.”