As popular as mentorship programs have grown, like anything else that is relatively new, they are not without misconceptions. The concept of having an officially designated mentor who can help you navigate the murky waters of your career seems like a great idea that any working individual can benefit from. However, many people still subscribe to common myths about mentorship programs, which stops them from availing the benefits it has to offer.
Below, we tackle these common myths about mentorship programs and talk about how and why they are wrong.
- Mentoring programs are only for employees and/or businesses that are struggling
Many are of the belief that mentoring is only for employees and businesses that are struggling and in trouble. This cannot be further from the truth. A mentorship program allows you to have someone in your industry who is more experienced and willing to share that experience with you so you can grow professionally and personally. Many of the mentees in mentorship programs are, in fact, high-performance employees who are always eager to improve themselves. Having a mentor to guide you does not imply that you are weak; it only means that you are invested in your growth and development.
- You have to be old to be a mentor and young to be a mentee
In the mentoring world, age is irrelevant. It’s experience and attitude that matters. People think that you have to be a certain age to become a mentor and share all the lessons that you have learned throughout your career; in reality, it is your industry experience that really counts.
Likewise, a common misconception is that mentees are usually young employees who are freshers in the industry. Many are of the belief that only these younger employees can benefit from a mentoring program. This isn’t true. Mentoring is for anyone willing and eager to develop new skills, nurture existing skills, and form meaningful connections so they can grow professionally and personally.
- Mentoring programs benefit only the mentee
A mentoring program is a two-way street where there is giving and taking on both sides. This means that for both the mentor and mentee, the experience is one that is marked by a great deal of learning and self-discovery.
A common misconception is that in a mentoring program, the mentor teaches and the mentee learns. But the truth is that both parties gain something insightful and valuable from their regular interactions with each other. In other words, a mentoring program is a great method of self-development for not just the mentee, but the mentor as well.
- Finding the right mentor is very difficult
A common obstacle that stops many professionals from participating in a mentoring program is finding the right mentor. They think that finding the perfect mentor who understands their needs and goals, who will give great advice, who will motivate them and push them to be their best self while still being understanding, is almost impossible to find. Today, there are platforms such as MentorCloud, which can easily connect you with the perfect mentor for you based on your individual needs and goals.
- You don’t need mentoring once you are successful
This can be linked to the first myth that we discussed, that mentoring is only for those who are struggling. Once you are successful, you have made it, so you don’t need guidance and advice from anyone, right? Wrong. The notion that mentoring stops when you are successful is a harmful one that can easily lead to your downfall. In fact, it is when you reach heights you have never scaled before that you need a mentor the most.
Putting these common misconceptions away, it is not difficult to see how anyone can benefit from a mentoring program. The key is to find the right mentor, who is the perfect fit for you.