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Swipe right for mentorship: Varghese Thomas explores the transformative power of mentorship in personal and professional growth

Mentorship, often regarded as the bridge for transferring wisdom and expertise across generations, stands as a cornerstone in the growth of individuals, both in their personal and professional capacities. It epitomises a symbiotic connection between a mentor, an experienced guide, and a mentee, an enthusiastic learner. I aim to focus on the profound significance of mentorship, highlighting its critical importance from the viewpoints of mentors and mentees and strategies that younger individuals can employ to use this invaluable resource effectively.

For mentors, it serves as a pathway to establishing a legacy, enabling them to make a lasting impact by passing on their knowledge, skills, and experiences to the next generation. 

Being a mentor is akin to hosting their TED Talk series, where they share their life's greatest hits with an eager audience. Additionally, they gain extra points for transforming their wealth of life experiences into a valuable reservoir of knowledge.

Furthermore, mentorship provides an opportunity for personal growth as mentors engage in self-reflection, reinforcing their grasp of the subject matter. It also hones their leadership abilities as mentors become adept at navigating the intricacies of guiding, motivating, and empowering others.

From the perspective of mentees, mentorship represents an accelerated path to learning, condensing years of knowledge acquisition into a brief timeframe. 

It's like obtaining a VIP ticket to the ride of success, or gaining exclusive access to the behind-the-scenes action of life's grand performance – you not only witness the spectacle but also have the opportunity to interact with the stars. Mentorship offers essential assistance in making career choices, defining objectives, and overcoming obstacles. Additionally, it unlocks access to valuable professional networks that might otherwise be inaccessible.

But remember, finding the right mentor isn't like swiping right on a dating app; it requires some effort. Think of it as a quest for the elusive Yoda in a galaxy of LinkedIn profiles. And when you do find your mentor, don't forget to bring your metaphorical lightsaber (your willingness to learn). 

Young professionals must proactively seek mentors within their field or industry to tap into mentorship effectively. They should articulate their objectives clearly, whether focused on skill development, career advancement, or personal growth. 

Active listening is paramount, as mentees must be receptive to feedback and take the initiative to implement suggested improvements. Establishing consistent communication with mentors through regular meetings or check-ins maintains a productive mentorship relationship.

In our ever-evolving world, mentorship remains indispensable. It facilitates the transfer of institutional knowledge and expertise, ensuring continuity as experienced professionals retire or transition. Given the rapid pace of technological advancement, mentorship aids younger generations in staying current and adaptable. As mentioned, let's not forget mentors are the Gandalfs and Yodas of the career world, helping you navigate the treacherous terrain of office politics and workplace dilemmas. They're like career guardian angels, minus the wings and the celestial harp music.

Mentor-mentee partnerships, exemplified by legendary pairs such as Warren Buffett and Bill Gates or Maya Angelou and Oprah Winfrey, are like the secret sauce in the recipe for success. 

They highlight the remarkable influence of mentorship and how it can transform careers and sprinkle some philanthropic fairy dust along the way. As for me, my journey through the maze of my career has been guided by an all-star mentorship squad, including the fabulous Prema Sagar, the incredible Balinder Singh, the wise Jayant Murty, the ever-inspiring Terry Alberstein, and the fantastic Heidi Davidson, to name just a few. They've been my North Star in shaping who I am today. I aspire to impart some of this invaluable knowledge to the next generation, hoping to impact their lives positively.

The benefits of mentorship extend beyond individuals, positively impacting organisations. Companies that invest in mentorship often witness higher employee retention rates, as mentees feel valued and supported. Mentorship programs nurture future leaders, ensuring long-term growth and success. Furthermore, mentored employees tend to be more engaged and motivated, enhancing overall performance.

In a world that changes faster than you can say "selfie," mentorship is like having a guru who knows how to update your life's software regularly. They keep you from becoming the human equivalent of a VCR in a streaming world. Mentorship is a potent catalyst for personal and professional growth. It facilitates knowledge transfer, expedites learning, and cultivates meaningful connections. Mentorship transcends being merely an art; it serves as a path toward a brighter future for individuals and organisations alike.

Varghese M Thomas is the Chief Communication Officer - at Greaves Cotton Limited

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