The Benefits Of Having A Mentor

Benefits of having a mentor

I wouldn’t be where I am in my career without the guidance of mentors. While navigating my career, I met several individuals who I learnt a lot from, but one person stands out – his name is Andrew Dobie. He was my IT Manager. Andrew believed in my abilities and poured knowledge into me throughout my professional journey, this was a gamechanger for me, and that’s why I embarked on relevant IT courses and training. He provided a great deal of insight, wisdom, guidance, advice, learning, growth, emotional support and career guidance. Today, I am a proud Service Delivery Manager in the tech space. Here are my reasons why everyone should have a mentor.

Career guidance:

Having someone to help you with their expertise as you build your career is crucial, because mentors can offer valuable guidance based on their own career journeys. Andrew assisted me in identifying and overcoming career growth limiting barriers. He assisted me in finding my direction, boosted my confidence and relinquished self-doubt. He went as far as advising me in what field of studies to focus on.

Building your network:

You’ve heard the saying that your network is your net worth. Well, these connections can open doors to new opportunities, such as jobs, partnerships, collaborations and more. For example, in my case, my older sister is in HR and she told me of a job opening at her previous company. She knew that I would be a great fit because she believed in me. And so, I applied, landed an interview and got the position, that same post kick-started my IT career.

An advisor:

Having somebody objective, who can give you honest feedback, is important because if everyone only tells you are good – because that’s what you want to hear – then you will never improve. Your mentor must be someone who can give you honest and constructive feedback, because this can highlight your blind spots, areas that need improvement, help with personal growth, the development of new skills, assist with a better understanding of your strengths as well as weaknesses, aid in increased self-awareness and avoidance of costly mistakes.


Having someone who you are accountable to is incredibly beneficial for several reasons because:

  • It keeps you focused
  • It increases commitment
  • It helps track your progress
  • It enhances responsibility
  • It builds trust and a stronger relationship between you and your mentor

Career advancement:

We all want to get ahead. I’m the perfect example, I started off as a data capturer, and then moved into the banking sector as a bank teller. Today, I’m a manager in the tech space. It took a lot of learning, commitment, studying, pairing myself with the right people, moving from different cities, and just a general hunger for success.

This improved my quality of life, because I come from humble beginnings. I believe that I’m making an impact in society, especially when it comes to women and people of colour. I have gained respect and recognition, I have financial stability, but most of all, I have a sense of personal fulfilment and accomplishment. I’m proud of myself. I always say to myself: “You have done well, girl.”

Myths about mentorship:

  • Mentors have everything figured out – Life is a series of taking risks, overcoming challenges and changing your mind. The truth is no one has everything figured out.
  • The process of mentoring is time-consuming – If you have the right skills and tools for success, then it’s possible to shorten your learning curve significantly and turn this journey into a mutually beneficial relationship.
  • Mentoring ends once the goals are achieved – After your mentoring programme ends, many mentors and mentees tend to stay in touch with each other because they’ve formed such strong bonds.
  • Mentoring is for people who aren’t successful – No matter where you are on your path to success, there’s always room for growth and improvement. Mentoring is for everyone.
  • You can’t be both a mentor and a mentee at the same time – It is possible to learn from others while also teaching them.
  • A mentee should only have one mentor – Do not limit yourself to just one mentor. Take advantage of the opportunity that mentoring provides when you have multiple mentors with different skillsets, backgrounds and experiences.
  • Mentors must be older and more experienced than their mentees – You’ve probably heard the phrase “the older, the wiser,” but that doesn’t mean that mentors must be older than their mentees. In fact, sometimes having someone who is younger than you can be a great way to learn new things.

Are there any downsides to mentorship relationships?

Mismatched Pair A mentor that is forced unto, assigned or chosen for the mentee may have disastrous results – the two may not hit it off or be compatible. That is why it is important for the mentee to find their own mentor.

Frustration As a mentor, you may feel that the mentee is not progressing quickly enough, or doesn’t seem able or willing to follow your direction, which may lead to frustration.

In conclusion, I’ll leave you with this statement: “My mentor challenged me; he encouraged me to think through issues and life-work challenges, he served as a source of wisdom when I needed it most. While our relationship as mentor and mentee ended after I changed companies, his impact carries through in my work today.”

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