it’s a mixed bag. Hundreds of articles extol the virtues of having a mentor. The authors lay out the case that if you don’t have one you are essentially failing in your career.
There is some truth to this.
However, finding a good mentor who will meet your needs, help you advance your career, be available to you when you need it and do so without their own personal agenda is incredibly difficult. Think about what you’re asking of this person. What’s in it for them?
Yes, there are some altruistic individuals who do it as a means of giving back, helping others get a hand up. Fantastic! But, they are rare finds. They have their limits.
It’s hard to set expectations with a mentor. This is someone volunteering their time. It’s usually a more senior and experienced person. What do you say when they aren’t there for you? What if you don’t agree with their advice? If you don’t follow it, then they might not want to continue serving as your mentor. How does it affect your career if this person is inside your current company?
These are some of the reasons executive coaching and career consulting services have grown so rapidly over the last several years. Food for thought.
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