What is a Career Mentor : Three Different Types

Mentoring is becoming increasingly popular, for all people, at all stages in their lives and their careers. Everyone needs advice at some time or another, whether it is about a college assignment or a job offer. So, if you have been asking yourself the question what is a career mentor, you are not alone. In this article we are going to look at not just what mentors are, but break them down into three different types.

If you are already in the world of work, you may find it difficult to find someone to turn too. Although more companies have formal mentoring, not many do. So, who should you turn to? Take into consideration here, that you don’t just want advice once. What you are in search of here is a long-lasting relationship that will be built up and nurtured. Some mentoring relationships actually happen naturally. Say you are working for a company, and often turn to the same senior member of staff for advice. This person could be your mentor, without you really realizing it. So, back to the question, what is a career mentor?

what is a career mentor

What is a Career Mentor : Mentors for Short Term Goals

Of the three different types of mentor we are going to discuss today, we are going to start with ones for the present. What are your short-term goals and aspirations? Where do you see yourself in one year from now? To find the answers to your questions, you need to find someone who is where you want to be in one year from now. If you find someone who has been in your shoes already, but only recently, they can become an excellent mentor for you.

It will be easy to relate to this type of mentor, as generally they will be of about the same age as you. You will be concentrating on current experiences that are still fresh in your mentor’s mind. This type of mentor is great for advice on small things, but not so much for your long term plans. This type of mentoring relationship usually develops naturally, and more often than not is with someone that works with you. If you work for a large company, you will be able to find a mentor by socializing with colleagues. This type of relationship can start with a coffee date, and is simple to maintain for the short term, or as long as you need.

Five Years From Now

Now let’s take a step into the future. Instead of asking yourself where you want to be in a year from now, let’s extend that boundary to five years. This type of mentor can still often be found within your company, but more at a management level. What this means is that coffees and socializing aren’t the best for developing a five year from now mentor relationship. This type of relationship will be more formal and should always be kept at a professional level.

Career Planning

The third type of career mentor we are going to discuss today is what we will call your career planning mentor. When asking what is a career mentor this type of mentor is quite different from our first two examples. This mentor will most likely not work in the same company as you. Rather he or she will have lots of experience in the same industry or sector. He or she should be knowledgeable, and be a source of information and validation for big questions. He should be the person you turn to when you are considering a big career move, perhaps a chance to go and work abroad.

This type of mentor may be someone that you know from when you were studying, or someone who used to work for the company you now work for. He may be a college lecturer, or she may be your old boss. This type of relationship will build up over time, and will start off very organically. Throughout your career, there will be plenty of different people that you turn to for advice and help. But, you should always turn to the right person. That is why you need to decide what type of mentor you need. Are you looking for advice for the present, the near future, or for a big decision that you don’t want to make alone?

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