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5 Reasons Mentors Can Advance Your Career

Mentoring, it isn’t just for kids.  Adults, especially those during career transitions, and at mid-level growth benefit from having a mentor during their professional careers.  A report released by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology found that “mentoring has been associated with higher job satisfaction, higher promotion rates, higher future income, increased work success, and higher retention rates.”

Beyond navigating the extensive employment economy, mentors offer much more than a networking connection.

According to Dr. Lois Zachary, Mentor extraordinaire, here are a few reason mentors are advantageous to any career:

  1. Perspective and Experience. A mentor can give you the benefit of his or her perspective and experience. He or she can help you assimilate to a new position and give you an insider’s view on how to get things done.  A mentor can help you look at situations in new ways. He or she can ask hard questions and help you solve problems.
  1. Define and Reach Long-Term Goals as well as Accountability. A mentor can help you define your career path and ensure that you don’t lose focus and continue down that road even when you become distracted by day-to-day pressures. When you know you are meeting with your mentor, you ensure that all the tasks you discussed in your last meeting are completed.
  1. Trusted Colleague to Discuss Issues. A mentor can be a great sounding board for all issues – whether you are having difficulty with your immediate supervisor, an ethical dilemma, or need advice on how to tackle a new project or ask for a raise.
  1. Open Doors and Expand Networks. A mentor can open doors within your company, in other companies, or onto a board, as well as offer connections or other professionals to get in touch with.
  1. Work better. With the help of a good mentor, you can work more efficiently with a clearer view of the future you are trying to achieve. This helps you feel more confident in your job, which leads to better job performance and more success along your chosen road.
If you are interested in finding a mentor, see the Graduate Business Career Services Department

How have mentor or other professional relationships shaped your academic and professional career?



Adapted from The Glass Hammer, 10 Reasons to Have a Mentor, especially Mid-Career, December 2009. Author: Andrew Newell

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