The Top 5 Benefits of Joining a Mentoring Program
BY KAREN GRECO, AMA CT Communications Chair
November 29, 2018
Very soon, the Connecticut AMA will be announcing its new Loop Mentoring Program. Built partially on successful mentoring programs from other AMA chapters, as well as input from Connecticut marketing students, the Loop Mentoring Program is going to be an exciting new platform available to all AMA CT, and collegiate chapter members.
Mentoring programs offer several benefits, both to mentees and mentors, but are they still relevant in today’s all-the-information-I-need-from-my-keyboard world? I think they are.
I am a self-taught marketer. I have a BFA in graphic design, and my first job as a corporate designer evolved into a broader marketing role, which set me on a career path to my current marketing director role. But when I was new to marketing, I received no training, and I relied heavily on marketing websites and online forums to help me map out and execute a marketing plan.
Thankfully, many seasoned marketers invest time and effort into sharing their knowledge and answering specific questions in forums, and some even provided me with answers to my more pressing questions. However, contributors can have strong opinions and don’t shy away from starting an online debate. Sometimes, I ended up more confused than I was before I had asked the question.
I also found a ton of great marketing blogs and websites, and many that offered useful content, but beyond the general inspiration they provided, much of the advice was one-size-fits-all. I often had to guess how to apply it to my industry; thankfully, my employer subscribed to a trial and error type approach, so I tried my best to fail to fail.
To be fair, I have always had the benefit of working with some outstanding people. And although no one had a true marketing title, many took the time to talk through ideas with me, and offer feedback when needed. In hindsight, I know I would have greatly benefited from a mentoring program.
So, what are the top five benefits of a mentoring program? If you have interest in being a mentee or are looking to work with someone from a different marketing discipline, industry or geographic location, you can gain several benefits from a mentoring program:
A mentoring program creates a more personal experience and path for growth based on individual aspirations, goals, strengths, and weaknesses. The mentor and mentee engage one-on-one and learn about each other, which leads to more personalized advice and shared practical experience from a seasoned marketing professional.
A mentor can become a lifelong contact, one who offers advice whenever a question or an issue arises.
Accelerated professional growth and career advancement. Having a mentor provides you with practical wisdom that might otherwise take you years to acquire. Leveraging such real world experience can greatly improve and advance your career.
Exposure to your mentor’s network of professionals in your field. The level of trust that can come from a solid mentor and mentee relationship often means that your mentor would be willing to refer you to their colleagues, whether to solve a particular problem, or for your next big career move.
Avoid rookie mistakes. Trial and error is not always the best route, especially if the error can tarnish your reputation and damage your career. Asking your mentor to share his or her own slipups gives you the benefit of learning from their mistakes.
There are also plenty of benefits for the Mentors. Aside from creating a lasting impact on your mentee, mentoring can strengthen your leadership and coaching skills, provide a positive new way to look at your own career path, and if your mentee is younger than you are, potentially provide an opportunity to gain a fresh perspectives on technology and social media.
Lastly, you will be helping to develop the next generation of marketing leaders, and they might be encouraged to be mentors themselves!
Stay tuned for more information about the AMA CT Loop Mentoring Program!
Want to help bring this program to life? Our next planning call is scheduled for December 10th, from 6:00-7:00 p.m. Email Christine Fitzgerald for more info!