5 Mentorship Misconceptions That May Be Holding You Back
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

At several points throughout your career, you’ll need the advice of a trusted adviser or mentor, someone who can help you navigate career paths and transitions as well as the stages of business cycles and professional relationships. But take note, there are a lot of misconceptions about what mentorship is and who it is for—we’re here to clear a few things up.

Mentoring has NO age requirement

Although mentorship is often perceived as relationships that are needed at the beginning of a person’s career—that’s simply not true. Everyone needs a mentor—whether you’re a recent college graduate entering the workforce or a mid-career professional striving to land an executive role. Amanda Pouchot, co-founder of the Levo League says, “mentorship is an opportunity to really learn from someone who’s been there before you.”

Mentors don’t have to work in your industry

Career advancement requires a lifelong commitment to learning and building diverse relationships; so if you want to get ahead expand your horizons beyond your immediate network. Cross-sector mentoring provides a great opportunity to explore fresh perspectives and different approaches to similar challenges.

You can have more than one mentor

In fact, you should have a personal board of directors—a diverse group of mentors and advocates with different areas and levels of specialization including job placement or promotion strategy, executive presence, salary negotiation, etc.

You can find mentors online

From leveraging LinkedIn to joining professional organizations like MicroMentor, which connects you with mentors online, there are several ways to go beyond the traditional face-to-face mentoring relationship.

Mentoring only benefits the mentee

Mentorship is a two-way street. Mentees should also be just as proactive as mentors at providing resources and a listening ear when needed. On top of everything else, mentorship also benefits a company looking to foster collaboration, innovation, and leadership.

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