10 Characteristics of Mentorship You Didn’t Know (But Should)

mentoringIf you are a college student, recent graduate or young professional perhaps you’ve become aware that mentorship – and curating mentor relationships – has become a critical element in your career development.

Since mentorship is a relatively new aspect of career planning, made even more important by the continuing issues with our economy, this seems like a good time to talk about the concept in more detail. Specifically, let’s talk about facets of mentorship you should think about as you seek out the right mentors for you.

Here are my top 10 aspects of mentorship you perhaps didn’t know about… yet.

1. We care a lot more about you, personally, than whatever idea you are working on at the moment

2. We almost never say ‘no’ to an informal discussion or informational interview (and if we do, it could be that you messed up in building a relationship before you asked)

3. We respect hustle and potential more than your GPA, who your parents are or what you want to be someday

4. Ultimately we do you a dis-service if we agree with you every time – a mentor relationship must be open and honest

5. It is not our job to tell you what to do… it’s our job to listen, point out critical factors you maybe haven’t yet thought of so you can decide what to do for yourself

6. We are here to listen all the time – and shouldn’t only hear from you when you’re either ecstatic from your latest triumph or feeling like a failure

7. When you say you are going to do something – we expect you to deliver, or at least communicate that you’re running a little late on the commitment

8. If it looks like you are going to fail… our job is to help you fail quickly, minimize damage – and learn from the experience

9. If it is clear other people are getting in your way – we’re going to tell you to separate them from your ambitions and goals (including your significant other, your best friend from college – even your own mother)

10. Mentorship isn’t always about workforce or entrepreneurial veterans working with younger professionals – so we’re going to push you to mentor others… including us (that is how you – and we – learn!)

Mentors, what would you add to this list? Mentees, what is missing from this list you hear from – or maybe wish you did hear from – your mentors?





Mark BabbittAbout the Author: CEO and Founder of YouTern, Mark Babbitt is a serial mentor who has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Forbes and Under30CEO.com regarding job search, career development, internships and higher education’s role in preparing emerging talent for the workforce. A keynote speaker and blogger, Mark’s contributions include Huffington Post, Bloomberg News, Switch and Shift, and Under30CEO.

Mark has been honored to be named to GenJuice’s list of “Top 100 Most Desirable Mentors,” HR Examiner’s “Top 25 Trendspotters in HR” and CareerBliss’ “Top 10 Gen Y Career Experts.” Mark is currently working on two new books: “A World Gone Social: How Business Must Adapt to Survive (AMACOM, June 2014) with Ted Coine and “The Ultimate Guide to Internships (And Making Your College Years Matter Again)” (Allworth, September 2014). Contact Mark via email or on Twitter!


Image courtesy of blogs.anl.gov… thank you!



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