There are very few people who can accomplish our goals in life without support. Even fewer can continue to grow without the guidance and assistance of mentors. Mentors are not one size fits all, and you will probably need multiple mentors in your life. These are six of the most common types of mentors that we all need.
This person is a master at what he or she does. They are skillful and experienced, and most importantly, they are willing to teach you. Being in their presence is an education in itself. You will learn the secrets of their craft and perhaps discover a few of your own.
This is the person who opens doors for you. They introduce you to the right people and vouch for your character. They push your name to the top of informal shortlists of candidates. This person believes in your potential and does whatever they can to make sure that others know.
This person is your co-worker. They come alongside you and walk you through the process. They have done this before and are familiar with the ropes. Your relationship is collaborative, with each of you giving input and honing your ideas together.
This person keeps you grounded. This person might not have anything to do with your work. This person may be a family member or friend. They always remind you why you began, who you are, and where you are heading. They provide emotional support when you are discouraged and physical support when you are injured.
The Young One
Not all mentor relationships are one-way. While you may be in a position to help guide younger, newer mentees, you should also be reminded that they may have ideas and perspectives that can benefit your own. Getting their fresh perspectives will help to keep you learning and growing. It will also help you to identify shifts in attitudes, culture, and technology.
The Search Engine
This person is your go-to person for information. Whether it is sharing wisdom learned through life experience or finding the correct form in HR, they are a font of information, and they are more than willing to share it with you.