Mentoring – What’s the Big Deal and Why Do It?

Post by: Laura Johnson
Published: 24 October 2023

So what even is mentoring?

Mentoring. No doubt you’ve heard that word before, many, many times. Personally, we think mentoring is great and a huge key to career development and success!

Don’t believe us? Check the stats. Studies show those who have been mentored are more likely to get a pay increase and more likely to land that promotion – we like those odds!

In a nutshell, mentoring is when someone with professional experience (the mentor) shares their expertise with someone else (the mentee). The mentor, who usually has followed a career path and sits in a position the mentee aspires to, will take the mentee ‘under their wing’ and give them guidance, show them the ropes and just generally impart their wealth of knowledge. 

On the surface this might look like a one-sided relationship, but mentoring is very much a two-way street, with big benefits for not only the mentee, but the mentor as well.

More than just a mentor

Let’s start with the less obvious and check out what benefits you can reap from being a mentor. 

While you might be crushing it in your career, maybe you haven’t had many opportunities to actually take the lead – here’s that chance. Mentoring can allow you to learn the skills you might need for management and leadership in the future.

On top of that, you’ll become a better listener, get to know new people and expand your network and hey, you might even learn a thing or two. When you’ve been in the game for a while, sometimes it can feel like you’ve seen it all. This can be a chance to hear and understand some new and fresh perspectives and you never know where that might lead.

Also, it just feels good to pay it forward.

Why be a mentee?

A bit more of an obvious one, but let’s run through them anyway.

For a mentee, it’s all about getting that support and knowledge to take you to the next level of your career.

When you open yourself up to the knowledge and experience of someone who’s already done it, the insights you can gain are invaluable. 

Other than really learning the ins and outs of your industry, you also get the chance to:

  • Expand your network (tell us an industry where networking isn’t key!)
  • Improve your communication skills
  • Boost motivation (nothing like watching someone live your dream to get you fired up)
  • Increase your chance of promotion (the stats don’t lie and if you get the chance to shadow a real top dog in your field, that looks pretty good on the resume).

Believe in the magic of mentoring

All these benefits sound great, but if you really want things to be a two-way street and reap all these rewards, (whether you’re the mentor or mentee) you need to actually be open to it

You need to go into this with a curious mind. If you’re just going to sit there closed off to the opinions of others and act like you know it all, then why are you even here in the first place? That doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything people say or do, but at least be open to hearing it, considering it and maybe even testing it. The beauty of humans is we’re not all the same – we have different thoughts, different ideas, different perspectives. When we bring those differences together, magical things can happen.

Get prepped

Alright, so you’re fully committed to this mentor-mentee relationship, how can you make sure you get the most out of it? We have a few tips.

  • Get prepped – we’re not saying you have to plan every minute of your time together, but don’t walk into this blind. Sit down before the real work begins (remember, you can do this virtually too) and have a chat about what you both want to get out of this, what you want to really focus on.
  • Check your egos at the door – a bit like what we said above, but if this relationship is truly going to work, open minds are key, especially as the mentor. Yes, you have more experience and knowledge than the other person, but that doesn’t mean you know everything or that they don’t have some really good ideas or perspectives to bring to the table.

Just give it a go (and thank us later)

When it comes to mentoring, this truly is something that can benefit everyone. Whether you’re just starting out, changing directions or just looking for some fresh perspectives, don’t knock mentoring until you try it.


Thank you so much to our guest Laura from innovative mentorship platform Strivin. Click here to learn more.