New year, new mentor opportunities

Q: In the new year I am looking for volunteer opportunities. Any ideas?

A: Mentoring can be an incredibly rewarding experience, both for the mentor and the mentee.

If being mentored, it is one of the most important investments a person can make in themselves. Whether needing a mentor to develop professionally, grow business, increase personal agency, or to become a better leader – mentorship is an invaluable asset. Not only does it provide perspective on the journey as a mentee, but also gives the space to be proactive and accountable with progress.

For those looking to become mentors, there are personal and professional advantages such as increased self-confidence, demonstrated visible leadership abilities, and a shared scope of expertise with a broader audience. Mentoring means being a guidepost or sounding board for others to model. By taking on a mentorship role you have the chance to encourage inspiration or creativity, and instill fundamental skills like consistency, listening and communication.

Mentoring provides a forum to share tools learned over the years, whether personally, or through your career. You can mentor teens, younger adults, or anyone willing to learn from your experiences. And mentoring strengthens your own patience and understanding when working with others as they develop new skills and strive to reach beyond their goals.

It is also important to remember that mentoring is about building relationships and finding the right fit for both parties. Mentorship can be rewarding for everyone by providing an opportunity to exchange insights on numerous topics, which is especially important today, where complex layers of personal and professional lives overlap or intersect. Mentor activity provides both mentors and mentees with insight into different perspectives, broadening horizons that might otherwise remain untold or unexplored.

Mentor relationships can also open doors and create opportunities for both parties. Each may have access to exclusive networks, resources and information. By having access to such valuable contacts, both can find themselves in a better position than they might be in otherwise when it comes to expanded friendships or an extended network base.

Finally, mentorship can provide the necessary support to help make positive changes in lives. Mentors are usually older adults and they understand the challenges and opportunities associated with achieving success. As a result, mentors often have the insight needed to provide honest feedback, encouraging their mentees to face new challenges head on and reach new heights. Research shows eighty-nine percent of mentees go on to become mentors in the future.

The benefits of mentors are incredibly powerful, and can make a significant difference in seeing beyond set goals. Whether one is just starting out or looking to move forward in their career, having a mentor is the perfect opportunity to gain valuable insight and experience. With their help, a person can become more proactive in reaching greater success, personally or professionally.

Mentorships can be a powerful tool in helping to shape a brighter future and is something we should all consider getting involved with – whether you are the mentor or the mentee. January is National Mentoring Month, so share your story or advocate to raise awareness about the power of mentoring programs in business or educational settings. There are plenty of organizations needing ways to start or promote an existing mentoring program, so take time to do your research and find one that’s right for you. Keep the momentum going and celebrate how mentorships benefit all areas of society.

Karen Casanovas, PCC, CPCC, CLIPP is a health, wellness and simplified living coach practicing in Anchorage. If you have questions write to her at

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