I’m a Senior Technical Writer. I work for a software company in Silicon Valley. Mentoring has had a huge impact on my life. After I received a Ph.D. in Social Psychology, I was unsure and confused what to do next. I lacked any clear direction. I found a colleague who mentored me. He listened to my interests and suggested that I try technical writing. I took technical communication courses and within 6 months I landed a permanent job.
With mentees, I like to learn about their interests and their short- and long-term goals. I provide my experiences with finding a career, going on interviews, and what it is like being a technical writer and project manager. I do some research in their area of interest to determine career prospects or job outlooks in that area. It feels gratifying to me when I can help someone going through what I went through.
I think mentoring is important because it allows someone with relevant experience to provide advice to someone who needs guidance or is really lost and confused (like I was). It also helps to simply bounce ideas off of another person. Another important benefit is that the mentor might have good connections and provide networking possibilities or job leads for the mentee.