You’ve heard it before, mentorship is crucial to professional success. But when we talk about mentorship, we often focus on finding one person. The truth though is that a single mentor is unlikely to be an expert on all the things you need support with.
The chance that there's a single person that can help you navigate every aspect of your career is slim. It’s unrealistic to expect one person to have all the answers. At Upnotch, we believe in having a broad network of mentors that can meet all of your different needs.
Because each mentor has a unique perspective, having several different mentors can provide a diversity of perspectives that will help you make good decisions in all circumstances. By triangulating advice from your mentors, you can take bits and pieces of what each of them has to offer and decide which words of wisdom are the right ones for you at certain points in your career.
We think you should see it as your Personal Advisory Board. And this is what it could look like:
Mentor 1: The star of your field
This mentor is someone that has the career that you want, someone you admire, the best in your field. The person you aspire to be in the future. This mentor will ideally have had many years of experience and thus, much knowledge and wisdom to share. You can turn to them every time you need advice or guidance.
Mentor 2: The Teammate/The Peer mentor
It can be very helpful to have someone who understands you and where you are in your career. You can learn from each other and help the other one reach their goals. It’s a supportive relationship. While your peer mentor doesn't have to be at your exact work level, there is an advantage to mentoring and being mentored by a person who has roughly the same amount of experience that you have. You both face similar challenges, you can truly understand each other; your goals, obstacles, and challenges. By sharing your experiences, you can help each other learn from your successes and failures.
Mentor 3: The one that has your back
The mentor that always has your back and won’t forget to mention you to people in his network that could potentially take your career or business to the next level.
Mentor 4: The best friend/ The confidant
This is someone you can go to when you’re having a bad day, someone that will cheer you up. They can provide a safe place to let go of your frustrations. It can even be a friend or family member.
Mentor 5: The mentee / Reverse mentor.
Mentees are also mentors! Why? Because in an ideal relationship the mentee is not the only one learning. In your role as a mentor, you have the chance to engage with someone with a different perspective who may see things in their own way. You will be exposed to fresh ideas and the opportunity to reflect on your own development, helping you to gain valuable insight and broaden your horizons. If you're doing it right - you will learn just as much from the people you are mentoring as the people who you are mentored by.
In short, whilst having a single mentor can be a great start, we recommend being more open. By diversifying your portfolio of mentors, you'll actually be able to get the right support in the right areas.