An important factor to consider in your allied health career growth and development is finding and establishing one or more mentoring relationships. What is a mentor? A mentor, traditionally, is an experienced person who works with a new health care professional, nurse, or protege to help develop professional goals and plans. A mentor is also a good support for the a new employee's professional growth and development. You will discover, as you read on in this blog, that there are many different types of mentoring relationships, both formal and informal, that can help you take your career to the next level.
A traditional mentor - Someone with whom you have created a formal partnership for mutual benefit. This type of mentor is someone you would be in touch with on a regular basis for good advice, to discuss things that may be unclear, to ask questions, and to use as a sounding board to get feedback. A mentor will listen to your goals, and dreams, and help to give you direction and suggestions that will keep your career on track, encourage you, and let you know when you are straying off track.
A mentor can also help a new allied health professional by increasing your exposure and visibility in the workplace and in your profession by introducing you to influential people, vouching for you, and recommending you when certain opportunities come up. A mentor can teach you things, give you perspective, and act as a role model. Health care facilities can often be fast paced, big, and with many different types of professionals. Anything a new health care professional can do to stand out will be beneficial.
The mentoring relationship/model has been popular for a long time in the business and social communities but it is still a relatively new concept in the health community. Mentoring can be a rewarding experience for the protege as well as the mentor.