With all its branches, the tech field is one of the rapidly growing career fields. However, getting into tech is more challenging now than ever before, especially with Covid making the prospect of remote jobs more appealing to many.
Regardless of the challenges of joining tech, it remains a very profitable and worthwhile field. When people consider joining tech, they start by self-studying the different aspects of the field and building various projects they can include in their portfolios when they start applying for jobs.
Although self-studying is my favourite approach to learning a new programming language or developing a new skill, we don’t get the experience we need from the practical side of things when working on our own. The solution for that is to have a mentor.
Having a mentor is beneficial for both the mentor and the mentee.
As a person who has been both a mentee and a mentor, I can honestly say that I learned equally from both experiences, if not more from being a mentor.
This article will show you 5 reasons why becoming a mentor is a worthwhile thing. You can also read my article “6 Places to Find a Mentor Online”.
#1: Getting recognized as an expert in the field
When you reach a level in your career where you can take on a mentee, you’re proving that you’re an expert in what you do. Although sometimes it may not feel like you’re an expert, you always need to remember that no one knows everything. Being a mentor will increase your knowledge and fill any knowledge gaps you might have.
Not just that, mentoring others will help you develop leadership skills while inspiring others to excel in the field.
#2: Experience new ideas, approaches, and viewpoints
Sometimes, when we are involved in our projects and our professional lives, we focus a lot on the product and lose sight of why we got into tech in the first place. Taking on a mentee will help us refresh our mentality and gain new experiences of what people go through now when getting into the field.
Mentoring someone will help you gain perspective on the struggles, the new techniques, and the new challenges newcomers need to go through to get to where you are.
#3: Gain a deeper understanding of the technical side of your job
Everyone knows this; the best way to fully understand something is to teach it to someone else.
Most programmers understand what they are doing, but often they aren’t the best at explaining what they did or why they made specific choices. Also, it becomes second nature when you do something for quite some time, and you find it challenging to explain its inner details.
Developing a teaching style requires you to go back to the basics, which is always a good idea to understand your work better and strengthen your knowledge base.
#4: Improving your soft skills
When you teach someone a complex concept, you will find yourself searching for the best way to explain it to be fully understood without overcomplicating it.
Mentoring someone will help you work on your communication and listening skills; becoming a better listener will lead you to become a better communicator and hence a better techie.
This is a good thing because many of your clients or stakeholders will probably use the same vocabulary as a person new to the field. Translating any vocabulary to a non-technical one will give you a new understanding of the different ways a concept can be expressed.
#5: A chance to give back
So far, I have talked about the benefits you can get if you take on a mentee, but being a mentor is not a one-way street. Being a mentor is a great way to give back to the community.
Most techies, including myself, read many articles written by others, which essentially mentored us and guided us through our learning journey. Although that might be indirect, sometimes we may have had excellent guidance from colleagues when we first started.
Helping others achieve what you have achieved and learn what you have learned is one of the best, most fulfilling ways to give back to the community.
When it comes to tech, no one can make it independently. To build a successful tech career, you need mentoring and guidance, whether direct or indirect. Being a mentor is more than just one person telling another what to do or not to do in their career. It is a two-way road between the mentor and the mentee; both can offer each other benefits, skills, and experiences.
The mentor offers to invest their time developing another professional while the mentee provides a fresh perspective. Mentoring can provide a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction to the mentor by receiving different benefits that reward them both personally and professionally.