Endless options, possibilities and paths can be a wonderful thing when it comes to your career. It can also be incredibly scary. Which is where a mentor comes in. They can help you navigate the winding maze of salary negotiations, difficult co-workers, busy seasons and new opportunities. No matter where you are in your career, cultivating a relationship with someone who’s been where you are and knows how to get where you want to go is one of the best moves you can make.
But these relationships aren’t just good for you as an individual. They can also be beneficial to your employer. Not every organization has the time, budget or talent to launch an internal mentorship program, so an employee who takes the initiative to further their own development is a huge asset. With this in mind, your boss may be willing to fund your participation in an external mentorship program, like the one MPLS MadWomen hosts each year. You just have to know how to ask.
Your Growth Benefits Your Employer
A well-mentored employer can bring a great deal to the workplace. In terms of not only your productivity but also your ability to shape the culture of the organization.
Knowledge is contagious. People who feel supported by a mentor often strive to pay it forward. Everything you learn from your mentor you can pass onto others on your team. You may even end up taking on a mentorship role as new talent comes on board.
Potential untapped. Through a close relationship with your mentor, they’ll be able to help you set goals and reach goals and cultivate talents you maybe didn’t even know you had. Talents your employer can use to their advantage.
An outside view. When you work with a mentor outside your company, you can bring a new perspective to challenges. This perspective can also help you see the big picture when you get too close to your work.
Staying power. When you don’t have someone to help you through the tough times in a workplace it can be easy to give up. If you have a mentor to turn to, they may be able to help you see the way through rather than out.
Mentors motivate. Encouragement from a mentor can drive you to do better in the workplace. Not only are you working to impress your employer but also to do your mentor proud.
Leading future leaders. When you connect with high performers in your industry, they shape your path to leadership. This means you’ll be better equipped to rise to a position of leadership within your organization.
Loyalty. When employees feel their workplace is invested in their growth and development, they tend to be more loyal.
Formulating Your Ask
Now that you know just how good your mentorship is for your employer, you can confidently ask them to invest in you. Depending on your relationship you can this in person, on the phone, through email, vial Slack, with semaphore flags. Regardless of the channel, your ask should include a few elements.
Cost breakdown. Most companies have a budget for employee development. Letting them know how much your ask is going to cost will help them quickly determine whether or not it will fit within the budget.
Connect the benefits. Explain how your involvement in the program will directly improve your ability to reach the goals related to your role.
Highlight mentor and program reputation. For the past few years, the MPLS MadWomen has drawn some of the top talent in the industry from some of the most well-known companies in the Twin Cities and beyond.
Ask for insight. Let them know you want your mentor to help you improve your performance and ask your boss if they have any insight that might help guide this work.
If your employer just doesn’t have the budget—or if you don’t have an employer—ask MPLS MadWomen to invest in you instead. Because we know just how important mentorship is when it comes to supporting talent in our community, we’ve built scholarship opportunities into our program. Thanks to the generosity of our mentors, we have the capacity to offer a scholarship to every woman who wants to participate in the program this year. Just indicate your need on the survey and we will hook you up!