The Power of Mentoring as a Career Development Tool

The Power of Mentoring as a career development tool is immense for the mentee, mentor and organizations alike as it is growing in popularity in a variety of settings. Here is a summary of the questions and highlights from my recent talk entitled “Mentorship Out of the Box” at the Calgary Public Library on January 20, 2012


What is Mentor ship?

Mentor ship has always been looked upon as a relationship between someone with a great deal of experience and someone of less experience who wanted to follow on a similar path to their older more experienced mentor. Eric Parsloe, The Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring said that mentoring occurs when a mentor “supports and encourage a mentee to manage their own learning in order that they may maximize their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be." There are two types of mentoring relationships usually informal which occurs when a person identifies another person who they believe can mentor them and then asks them to be able to be their mentor. The second type of mentor ship is more formal in nature and usually is both initiated and carried out to accomplish some predetermined goals that are between an organization and their employees.


What characteristics are consistent in all mentor ship relationships?








Most mentoring relationships have the following characteristics.




  • They consist of a mentor(s) and mentee(s)

  • Built on respect and trust

  • Age is not always a determining factor

  • Clear expectations and outcomes

  • Honest communication

  • Usually developmental or sponsorship in nature

  • Supportive in nature

  • The mentoring relationship must be mutually agreeable

  • Reciprocal in nature

  • Opportunity to learn and grow

  • Create opportunities

  • Legacy building

  • Transfer of experience and knowledge

  • Coaching


What are the different types of mentor ship models?

  • Reverse Mentoring

  • Group Mentoring

  • Round table Mentoring

  • Mentor ship 360

  • Resource-Based Mentoring

  • Training-Based Mentoring

  • Executive Mentoring

  • Mastermind Mentoring

  • Cascade Mentor ship

  • Social Media Mentoring


Is mentor ship a  career development tool ? 






Mentor ship is a really powerful career development tool and is presently growing in use in high school, post- secondary educational programs, professional associations, community programs, immigrant serving organizations, career development organizations, youth programs, churches and workplaces. It is powerful because it provides people who have a clearly defined idea of who they (i.e. their values, interests skills, and  career direction) with a connection to a mentor that provides them with recognition, encouragement, support, professional and social connections, career advancement opportunities, on- going  learning and most of all increased self-esteem and confidence.


Anyone interested on adding to the discussion on the power of mentor ship as a career development tool please comment on the blog or contact Brian Lambier, President of Career Vitality Services Inc.