Having a peer mentor or “buddy” in your workplace can be a great resource when you start a new job. They can share knowledgeable advice on the company, services, staff, facilities and events. You can also gain a friend that you can go to and ask silly questions. This can be a great resource in your first 100 days in a new job and beyond.
What are the benefits of being a Peer Mentor?
If you get asked to be a mentor for one of your peers or a new starter, you may wish to take the company up on this opportunity. Being a peer mentor can:
- be a fulfilling experience. As with all mentoring opportunities, being a peer mentor can be equally fulfilling and you can make a real impact to your colleagues.
- boost your leadership skills. Although you probably already possess some qualities of a leader, your leadership skills can be improved by becoming a peer mentor as the experience may put you in different situations that you might not encounter in your current day to day job which call for skills such as compassion, decision-making, and good listening skills.
- improve your time management and people skills. Being a peer-mentor is in addition to all the other things you will do in your every day life and therefore will usually require good time-management skills.
- improve your career profile and help boost your CV with all the transferable skills you will be acquiring,
- help you meet new people and build and strengthen your relationships with the people you meet.
How do I become or find a Peer Mentor? What if there is no scheme available?
While university programmes often have a peer mentor system in place, it is less commonly found in the workplace or certainly is more informal. If you don’t have a scheme available there is no harm in simply asking someone. Alternatively, if you don’t feel comfortable with asking outright, why not set up a regular coffee or lunch with someone you would like to foster a mentoring relationship with.