National mentoring month: How strong is your network?

By U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Charlemagne Obana [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Charlemagne Obana [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Did you know January is National Mentoring Month? Set up by the Harvard School of Public Health and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership in 2002, the month celebrates mentoring and the positive effect it can have on young lives.

The campaign includes Thank Your Mentor Day (January 15th), which encourages Americans to thank and honor their mentors. One of the ways you could show your appreciation is via social media using the hashtags #SomeoneWhoMatters and #MentoringWorks.

Now is a great time to consider how mentoring has influenced your development – and how much wisdom and support you are offering others, too.

I’ve spent the majority of my education and career in the UK and, while the mentoring concept isn’t as explicitly promoted there (I’ve never had an official mentor, for example), I can certainly think of people who have offered me invaluable support every step of the way – from my parents and best friends, to university educators, managers and even kind strangers I have met on my travels.

I love the mentoring movement. I believe relationship building is a key component of building a successful career and enjoying a happy life in general. I have always disagreed, and really hated the notion, that you have to ‘walk all over people’ to get ahead at work.

Could you improve your support network in 2015 and how do you plan to do that? For example, if you’re a business owner, are your staff members receiving sufficient mentoring support on a regular basis? This could be in the form of regular one-to-one appraisals, informal coffee meetings, a team-building day and by inviting professional business mentors/motivational speakers to address your team. There are also many opportunities to volunteer as a mentor, too (for example, check out the MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership website here).

About Stephanie Reed

Stephanie is a trained journalist and an experienced PR and social media professional, helping to promote businesses across a range of sectors including travel, technology and healthcare. Her work has included liaising closely with trade and consumer journalists - as well as influential bloggers - to gain positive press coverage about clients, organizing press events, managing social media campaigns and sourcing new business. Follow on Twitter and Google +.

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