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Parallels: Drawing Comparisons Between Youth Mentoring and Business Mentoring

A lot of research into the impact of mentoring on success has been done on youth mentoring, either at a college level or earlier. This research has proven that mentoring itself is highly transformative and can have a significant impact on the future success of a mentee. What if we could transfer that value to business?

Many people just starting out in their careers are young and impressionable, eager to soak up knowledge and learn how to climb to the top. This is a vulnerable time for young professionals, and having a mentor to look to for support and guidance can have a lasting change on their development and future success.

With youth mentoring, the goal is to provide mentees with a trusted adviser—a friend, in many ways—and someone they can look up to. Mentors tap into their many years of life and work experience and use it to help their charges find their way in the world.

Apply these values to business and you paint a very similar picture: a young person is matched with an experienced professional whose job it is to transfer their knowledge and experience to their charge.

Many of the lessons of youth mentoring are also transferrable to business mentoring. Throughout the course of the mentorship, mentees learn how to build valuable relationships, beginning with the relationship they forge with their mentor. They’re taught to respect other people’s time and resources, and to value the guidance and instruction of someone more experienced than they are. Mentees also learn how to connect with others and grow their network of contacts, a skill that builds character and self-confidence. These lessons are identical in business mentoring, where the primary goal is to teach young people how to thrive and excel in their careers.

What’s more, the rewards of youth mentoring are also realized by business mentors. Being a trusted resource and having a true impact on someone else’s life is extremely gratifying, and many business professionals take pride in doing the meaningful work of being a mentor.

Even the challenges of business mentoring are similar to those of youth mentoring. One of the most important goals of mentoring as a whole is to match mentees with the right mentors. This isn’t always an easy task with youth mentoring, and it can be difficult with business mentoring as well. The task is made easier with tools like MentorCloud, which matches mentors and mentees based on their backgrounds, goals, and expectations. Youth mentors also face challenges keeping their charges engaged, maintaining the momentum of the relationship, and keeping communication active and interesting­­—all hurdles business mentors must overcome.

Just like a new school or neighborhood, the new workplace can be a scary place. Mentoring goes a long way towards making it less scary and more enjoyable. We might be more used to the idea of youth mentoring than we are business mentoring, but with all the technology and resources we have at our fingertips, we are primed to transfer all the success of youth mentoring to the business place. 

If this post resonated with you, check with your organization to see whether you are part of the MentorCloud network. If not, sign up for a demo here! Our vision is to create a mentoring planet in which true equality is achieved and hard work is rewarded, but it's only possible with your participation.