People often picture a mentor as someone older or at least someone who has been in a particular business for a long time, but mentoring is not always about age or the number of years of experience a particular person has in a certain field. Instead, mentoring is about inspiring or helping another person, no matter the age or experience level of the people involved in the mentoring relationship.
Kim Getty, president of Deutsch LA, an advertising agency which markets for companies such as M&M’s and 7up, talked in a recent article about how people of all ages can be mentors to others. She talked specifically about how younger people make great mentors. Getty, who also teaches journalism classes, said her students act as mentors, as they keep her up-to-date on trends in the media. She focused upon the four types of mentors which are essential for any professional.
First, you need a Peer-to-peer mentor. This is someone who works in your field and who is on the same professional level as you. This person is someone you can turn to for advice when you are just frustrated or otherwise worked up about something at work.
Second, people need a Reverse mentor. For Getty, this is her students. Overall, it is someone younger and newer in the industry, someone who can give the seasoned professional a fresher outlook, and at times this the person who can explain new terms or gadgets which might be essential to the success of the company or the individual. At the beginning of someone’s career, he or she will be this type of mentor, but later the person will be the person getting mentored, the exact opposite of the stereotypical mentoring relationship.
A third type of mentor is the Industry-agnostic mentor. Although it is great to have a mentor within your field, a friend or family member who can give you an outsider’s view is just what you will need at times, whether you are just starting out or you have been in the same career for decades.
The fourth type of mentor Getty says is essential is the Personal mentor. This person may start out as a professional mentor, but the relationship develops into something where the person can give you advice on things completely unrelated to your career.
Nina Nets It Out: Whether you are currently searching for your first job, you are looking to expand in your career, or you have been in the same industry for years, it is important to know that mentors can help you along the way. Sometimes you will be the mentor, and sometimes you will be the one needing mentoring. You are never too old or too young to be the mentor or the mentored.