The 3 Types of Mentors and Which One You Need Now

For some time now, I have been looking for a mentor. Why? Because I feel that I could benefit from speaking to someone older and wiser. That's why I couldn't agree more with a recent Forbes article by career coach Ashley Stahl that highlights the importance of mentoring. Stahl credits her successful business to positive mentorships. “I sought out successful people working in the same space that I wanted to break into, and made it my business to learn from the best,” she says. Mentors provide crucial advice and emotional support, and they open doors within their industry for their protégés. According to Stahl, there are three types of mentors, which I have listed out below. All are beneficial—it just depends on where you are in your career.  

  1. Sponsors. Social media is a great way to find a sponsor mentor. These people will make things happen in the workplace. “They’re more action-oriented, constantly working to find you connections in your field and put you in front of the people who can directly help grow your business,” writes Stahl.
  2. Paid mentors. If you’re working to grow a personal business, invest in a paid mentor. Although they are not cheap, you’re more likely to see monetary and long-term results, because you are paying them to help you increase your business.
  3. Unpaid mentors. Unpaid mentors are just as valuable as paid mentors. It’s important to find someone who believes “you can achieve whatever it is that you’re setting out to do. Most of the time, their belief comes from having been in your shoes at some point or another.” 

Learn more on the subject by reading book Bobb Biehl's book Mentoring ($11).

Do you have a mentor?