Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi interviewed over 91 of the most creative people in the world (including 14 Nobel prize winners) for his book Creativity: the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. Do you know what they all had in common?
By the time they were of college age, almost every one of them had a mentor.
But mentors aren’t just for creative types. Did you know that having a mentor can lead to greater job satisfaction and a higher salary, no matter the industry?
A mentor is an experienced person who supports, counsels, and guides someone with less experience. Mentoring is a one-to-one relationship between the mentor and the mentee in which the more knowledgeable individual actively shares their knowledge, passes on skills, gives advice, and models positive behaviors. In medieval times, the master tradesman was also a mentor—one who trained not only the hands of his apprentice but also his mind.
Today, mentors are typically leaders in their field who have plenty of wisdom to impart, which they’ve gained from their own career. For example, a department head might take the new intern under his wing. If you go to work for the family business, your mentor might be an older family member. A mentor could be a teacher, if outside of class they advise you on general life and career goals. There is a STEM mentoring movement to get young people interested in science and technology-related educational and career opportunities.
- The Educator guides a mentee based upon their specific expertise and experience.
- The Connector introduces the mentee to people in the industry who can help them.
- The Challenger pushes a mentee to reach the goals they have set for themselves.
- The Cheerleader encourages the mentee and turns their mistakes into learning opportunities.
The best mentors are often willing and able to do some of all the above. 🙂
Benefits of Having a Mentor:
- Become more empowered and confident
- Build your network to get a job
- Enjoy greater job satisfaction
- Potential for higher salary
To help you understand the role of a mentor, the following infographic tells more about what a mentor does, the benefits of having a mentor, common mentorship styles, and how to find one.
You can also check out the full visual here.