Mentorship: What’s The Big Deal About It? ✔

Like Yoda to Luke Skywalker and Uncle Ben to Spiderman, having a mentor can take you from zero to hero.

Having a mentor can take you from being a regular person to being the best in what you do

I’ll soon get to why a mentor can be an important part of your career and how to find one.

But first, let’s define what a mentor is or rather, is not.

A mentor is not a coach or a counselor.

Want to create the most revolutionary mobile app of the decade? A mentor will not teach you how to do that.

Want a six-figure salary? A mentor will not magically give you a top-level position.

Mentors understand your long-term career goal. They guide you. They tell you what you should look out for. But it’s not their job to design a detailed roadmap for your goal.

They will open doors for you but they won’t hold your hand every step of the way.

Think of it more like a compass and not GPS navigation. It shows you the direction but it’s still up to you to decide how to get there.

This is how you begin.

Alright, I definitely mislead you a bit here by showing you the picture of Yoda. A mentor isn’t necessarily this wise old village elderly with decades of life experience.

In mentorship, you are probably better off being mentored by someone you can relate to career-wise.

Here is why relatability is important.

Let’s say you’re a 23-year-old graduate who wants to launch a tech startup. You’re thinking of becoming a protégé of someone who has worked with the big names in the tech industry for the past 20 years.

That person may offer you valuable advice, but that’s just it. The experiences they’ve had 10 or 20 years ago is completely different from what someone like you might face at this point.

So, if you’re looking for a mentor to guide you in a tech startup, you could consider that 30-year-old who successfully launched startup five years ago. They may not be as experienced as the industry veteran but they have most likely gone through similar things as you.

They can help you avoid making the same mistakes that they did in the past.

Another value in a mentorship is having a network you can tap into.

For example, if you’re looking for potential investors to help you fund that startup, then your mentor might be able to help by introducing you to someone in their network.

And speaking of network, your potential mentor might just be found in your own circle.

Maybe your college roommate has found success in management consulting and you want to get into that too? Or you could ask a cousin who has successfully made an enterprise out of developing mobile applications. How about that former colleague who’s made a name in eCommerce?

A mentor can be anyone – sometimes you don’t have to look too far.

Now, we all know that there are many reasons why people would want a mentor in their lives. Salary increase. Promotion. Opportunities. Job satisfaction. Career advancement. The list goes on.

Having a mentor sure sounds like a good idea for your career but how would the mentor benefit from the relationship? Why would anyone mentor you in the first place?

Here are some reasons why someone would mentor you.

If you work in the same company, then they could see you as a soldier helping their agenda. You can become that extra voice to help your mentor get that promotion.

Total win-win.

If you are an entrepreneur, your mentor may benefit from your product or services or you may even end up becoming joint-venture partners.

In addition, mentor-mentee relationships go way back millions of years in our history.

It existed in society even in the early ages. We just didn’t call it that. People didn’t have internet or media that time, printing press wasn’t invented. Information was scarce. The only way to get information was by acquiring it from the village’s elderly mentors.

They taught us the good berries and bad berries – in a sense, that little information they gave us made us survive.

Now things obviously changed.

Sure people make more informed decisions now, but we still value having a trusted person to help us in career or personal development.

And for good reasons.

So look around, find a mentor who will help you get where you want to be. You may be just one advice away from getting there.

 

Best,

Deniz