When it comes to mentoring, young professionals often let themselves off the hook. We think we are too young to offer someone anything valuable. However, not only is it better to mentor while you are young but also you reap a ton of benefits as a young mentor. While being a mentor is a serious responsibility, you really do get as much as you give. There are three benefits I have noticed in being a mentor:

1. You’re forced to think about your choices: Saying “just because” doesn’t fly when you are mentoring someone. They want to know why you made certain choices and the consequences (good and bad) of those choices. At the same time you also get an opportunity to reflect on what choices have really helped or hurt your career.

2. You’re forced to think outside the box: While someone may admire your current position or career trajectory, chance are they arent where you are nor do they necessarily have a clear vision of where they want to be. What is nice about the nonprofit sector is that given its size there is room for everyone. You’ll explore various ways to connect someone’s passion or interest with the sector that you may not have thought of before.

3. You’re forced to be accessible: Not only in terms of time but also in terms of knowledge. Being able to make your experiences, resources, and ideas understandable and useful for both your mentee and for you. You’ll strengthen your ability to connect with people with different backgrounds and understandings, a useful skill in this sector.

What are some other benefits to being a mentor?

Interested in being a mentor? Check out National Mentoring Month for ideas and opportunities.

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