Back in August, I had the opportunity to visit a great organization called Year Up – Chicago. Year Up – Chicago is a free one-year, intensive training program that works to positively impact the lives of young adults by providing skills, experience and support to empower them to reach their potential. As professionals, it’s important to always remember that there are many things we can do to create opportunity within our community and our companies, and if you are a leader, you are in a unique position to positively impact others in several ways. My Year – Up Chicago visit reminded me that as more and more millennials are joining the workforce, a great thing leaders can do is mentor young professionals. Here are reasons why you should become a professional mentor to somebody on your team or somebody outside of your organization:

The Learning Experience

Your mentees will undoubtedly learn a lot from you and your experience, but there is a lot you can learn from them, as well. Millennials have different skillsets and an overall different way of working. The insight you will gain from them will ultimately help you evolve into a more effective leader to your new teammates.

The Self-Awareness

Giving your mentee advice will inspire you to stay on the ball. As a mentor, you’re forced to consider your actions, learn and then share the lessons. This self-awareness will ensure you’re not only walking the talk, but constantly challenging yourself to grow.

The Reminders

With each day comes new lessons to be learned, and every now and then we need a reminder about our past hurdles and successes. Sharing both your positive and negative experiences is a great way to revisit and relearn from the valuable lessons throughout your career.

The Satisfaction

Helping others is a great feeling, and as a mentor, your guidance can change someone’s life for the better! You never know – the experiences and advice you share may help transform someone’s career and inspire him/her to create opportunity for somebody else, too!