Mentoring and Being Mentored

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Twenty or thirty years ago there was a mentoring craze across corporate America. Everybody had to have a mentoring program. Some of them are still going on. Formal mentoring programs have mixed reviews in general but have been very important for some folks.

In those formal programs a mentee was matched with a more senior mentor, usually from another part of the organization, and the two of them got together on a regular basis to share ideas. The mentor would guide the mentee and of course they both helped one another.

Today mentoring is often more freeform than a formal mentoring program. A mentor is anybody who will listen to your career story and your workplace issues and help you move through them. Of course, mentoring isn’t just about work or it doesn’t have to be.

Years ago people were told to find mentors for long-term mentoring relationships, and sometimes people still do that. However, lots of folks get their mentoring in smaller doses. They may have numerous mentors, some they see frequently and others they see less often. They may meet their mentors in professional associations, through their friends, by volunteering or in any almost any way.

Have you ever been a mentor or been mentored? Would you like to be? Leave a comment and tell us?


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