Modern organisations have to constantly change and adapt if they wish to stay ahead of their competitors and keep pace with their customers needs and we as individuals are no different.

If we wish to keep up with ever changing trends in technology, management issues and economic pressures, then we also need to be adaptable and capable of continually learning and developing.

Interestingly, those who are “good learners” approach unfamiliar or difficult challenges with confidence and “have a go”.  However those who aren’t such good learners or who are afraid to learn will hold on to what they know and resist change.

But who is responsible for our learning?  While your employer is responsible for providing appropriate support and opportunity, ultimately it is us as individuals who have to take responsibility and seize the initiative for our own learning and development. Which is where mentoring comes in.

Mentors can help us quickly gain new skills and experiences to help us progress.  Mentors can provide knowledge and experiences that are not readily available from a generic training course.

A mentor should have a status within your organisation and experience within the field you wish to develop.  Your mentor should be able to provide you with the help and support you need as well as acting as a sounding board and challenging you to try new and different things. Discuss and agree the need with your boss and find out who the most appropriate person would be.  If your organisation has a formal mentoring programme this will be relatively straight forward, however if your organisation doesn’t have one, don’t fall into the trap of not asking.  Remember proactivity is the key to your future!