Using a mentor may not be the first thing that the average Dubai professional thinks off when they are looking at ways to develop and advance their career. But, I think it should not be lightly dismissed and, it deserves a second look, as there is good evidence emerging that a mentoring relationship can be highly beneficial to your career in Dubai.
For example, consider the case study of Sun Microsystems; they looked at the career advancement of over 1,000 employees during the course of five years and found that the careers of those who had been mentored were indeed super-charged. Yes, the Sun Microsystems study found that employees who were mentored were around 20% more likely to get a pay rise than staff who do not take part in the mentoring programme.
So, what is a mentor and how does the relationship work?
Well, simply a mentor is someone with a lot of professional and life experience who wishes to impart their wisdom and knowledge to a willing and less experienced protege or mentee. This is known as a mentoring relationship. These relationships can be part of a corporation training programme, as we have shown above at Sun Microsystems. (IBM and Intel are two other high profile companies that have advanced corporate mentoring programmes).
But, if your company doesn’t offer one itself you can go out and find your own mentors – and I will talk more about this in a moment. But, for now I want to focus more on the benefits that a mentor can bring to you. A mentor can help you to develop on a personal and professional level by providing guidance in the following areas:
- can help to brainstorm and find solutions to difficult problems
- they can direct you to resources and networks to assist your growth
- they can challenge you and push you to move out of your comfort zone
- they can advise and coach you to develop a specific competency
- help you to learn how to take risks that will help you develop
- they can provide a different perspective on complex situations
- can act as a referee and provide letters of recommendation.
So, if you are sold on the idea of a mentor and can see the benefits that it can bring to your career and personal development, then the question is, “How can you get a mentor?” Well, if you work in a larger organization, you may find they they have their own mentoring programme – and you can simply apply to join this.
If your company does not have a mentoring programme, then do not worry as there are a range of external mentoring companies that you can use. I would recommend that you join a virtual business mentoring group on Linked-In such as Dubai Business Network and here you will be able to pose questions and engage in some ad-hoc mentoring about getting ahead in the work-place. You will also be able to ask members to recommend any good local mentors in Dubai.
Good luck with your mentoring!