Chances are you’ve probably heard of a mentor, but what exactly does it mean to have one?

Is it someone who asks you to get their morning coffee? Your boss? A life coach?

It can be a little bit of each, but so much more. Your mentor is your official guide in the workplace. You wouldn’t try skydiving without some direction on how to pull the shoot. You need someone who will make sure you’re ready to jump out of the plane and land safely on the ground. That’s what a mentor does.

A mentor is there to advise you and give you some perspective based on their own career experience. And the best part? It’s free!

Here are just a few benefits of mentorship in the workplace.  

Good for Everyone
Mentorship isn’t one-sided. It benefits the mentor, not just the mentee. You’re never too old or experienced to learn something new – especially when you’re learning from someone with a fresh perspective. If you’re nervous about asking someone to be your mentor, remember that the mentor actually gets a lot out of the relationship as well.

Clears Your View
Starting out in a new career is exciting but a bit overwhelming. There are a lot of paths to take and it can be hard to choose. Once you figure out how to find a mentor, your mentor is able to help you sharpen your focus and see a clearer way to get to your goals. Moving forward in your career is easier when you’re pointed in the right direction.

Gets Your Motivation Going
Mentors are our very own cheerleaders. They’re the personal trainer telling you to go for one more rep.  When you’re feeling down or discouraged, they’re able to give you the encouragement you need to get back on track. When you’re motivated – you get stuff done. You’re able to meet that deadline and impress your boss.

Reduces Stress
The chaos of a workplace can cause a lot of anxiety no matter what type of industry you’re in. Tight deadlines, demanding customers and difficult coworkers can make stress levels rise. Having a mentor to depend on can offer a great sense of support in these situations. Knowing someone has your back is a huge stress relief and makes issues way easier to deal with.

Makes for a Happier Workplace
Even though a mentorship is usually between two people, having them in the workplace makes it better for everyone. Mentorship programs bridge a gap between generations at work, making your workplace feel more inclusive. Morale is high when people feel connected to their job and the people they work with.

Opens New Doors
A mentor can offer advice and guidance, and connect you with who you need to know. Mentors have been building connections in their field for years and being able to access that network is a huge bonus. They can ease your introduction to new networks and help you make a positive impression. What’s better than that?

These are just a few of the benefits of mentorship in the workplace, but there are many more. This constructive tough-love a mentor offers elevates the quality of your work, motivates you, and creates positive energy.