Creating opportunities for you is not your mentor's job

Unless your mentor is a supervisor or someone senior in your organization, the expectation that he/she will make introductions and open doors is a romantic, but misguided, one.

Instead, mentors prefer empowering their mentees to carve out their own opportunities.

Azhar Alam (@azharalam) - Profile Photo



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<ul><li>A mentor is someone wh...
" Mentor " is not a relationship category
  • A mentor is someone who knows more than you or has vast experiences from which you can learn.
  • Many people wait to formally confer the title "mentor" before they begin a relationship.

In reality, this connection doesn't require a purity test to confirm the mentor/mentee arrangement.

Advisory relationships work best when they happen naturally, and fail when forced. Forget the labels and absorb wisdom from brilliant people in whatever form it comes.

Too many people end up disappointed when they realize their mentor has limits.

Even the strongest relationships have boundaries.

But just because a mentor doesn't want to take on risk, or circumnavigate the ninth circle of hell with you, doesn't invalidate the relationship.

A mentor should have knowledge to share, advice on certain experiences, personal stories relevant to yours, or ways of thinking that can influence your decision-making and problem-solving.

But rarely will a mentor be your confidante, emotional support system, knowledge base, brainstorm partner, and guidance counselor all at once.

"It is important for the mentee to prioritize discussing tactical and tangible issues the mentor can help solve."

You are not worthy of mentorship just because you decide so. Mentorship is a two-way street, and a mentor wants to grow with her mentee.

A mentor needs to gain something from the interaction, whether it's a vicarious experience of exciting new projects.

A great mentor won't be interested in allocating time and energy to a protégé who doesn't promise a fun ride ahead.

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A Good Mentee

Having the right mentor or ‘Guru’ in our life can change one's entire trajectory. It’s common to see people labelled as good mentors, but rare for anyone to make themselves into good mentees.

Memorability, or the ability of mentees to derive benefit from mentoring, relies on an open, mutually beneficial partnership.



  • Advisor and Coach - provides advice, guidance,and feedback.
  • Champion and Cheerleader - inspires and motivates the mentee to try new things, move out of comfort zone, and to always be optimistic.
  • Resource and Recommendations - suggesting resources that could help with personal development and growth such as books, workshops, organizations, etc.
  • Devil's Advocate and Truth-sayer - honest and provides tough feedback to help inspire mentees to push forward, push them to take risks, and help them to always consider consequences before making decisions.

If you decide on becoming a mentor, you might want to consider choosing a mentee who shares your interests. It will make everyone's life easier. Moreover, you will also be able to provide more useful pieces of information, that is to say, to fulfill your duty as mentor.

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