Young professionals are told over and over again how having a professional mentor can help them.

Someone has to be the professional mentor, though. Some professionals see mentoring as an obligation or a chore, but it can actually be a great opportunity.

Becoming a professional mentor gives you a chance to improve yourself as well as your mentee. You also get a new perspective on your field that can improve your work.

Benefits of Becoming a Professional Mentor

1. Improve Your Leadership Skills

Working with a less experienced professional can help you practice your leadership skills. You have to foster a connection with someone you may not know very well. It’s also necessary for you to be able to see the bigger picture and help guide them on their career path. Then you have to continuously ensure that you are the kind of person they trust to guide them.

2. Practice Good Communication

Mentoring can give you the chance to practice communicating with someone who is in the same field as you, but who isn’t quite a peer. You should also develop your ability to talk about work and personal goals while framing them in a way that is valuable to your listener.

It’s good practice for listening, too. As a mentor, you need to be aware of what is going on in your mentee’s life and what their goals are before you can start guiding them.

3. Make New Kinds Of Connections

Mentoring is a good opportunity to grow your professional network. You should not just be focusing on networking for your own gain, but looking for new connections to help your mentee as well.

You’ll meet new people through your mentee, too. They’ll introduce you to the people they know and you’ll get a chance to know their peers and coworkers.

4. Learn More About Your Field

You’ll probably talk with your mentee about their position and goals in your field, or what they’ve learned or want to learn about. These discussions will help refresh your memory about things you may not do often and teach you new things as well.

5. Get A Fresh Perspective

As you talk to your mentee and get to know them more, you’ll find yourself learning from them almost as much as they learn from you. Their personal life probably gives them a different perspective than you on industry news and work problems. If you let yourself, you can broaden your horizons and grow professionally too.

6. Feel Better About Yourself

Helping others is a great way to help yourself. Doing something nice for someone else often leaves you with a warm, fuzzy feeling you don’t always get from your work. It’s a great mood booster.

If you really like your mentee, your discussions can even become something you really look forward to.

How To Be A Good Mentor

Once you’ve decided to become a professional mentor, you need to make the effort to be a good one. The more you put into a professional mentorship, the more you’ll get out of it.

Listen More Than You Talk

As a mentor, it can be easy to talk a lot. After all, your mentee wants to learn from you, right? If you talk too much, though, you’ll end up talking about things your mentee already knows or doesn’t care about.

Take the time to listen to your mentee. Learn what their career goals are and what their current work looks like. The more you know about them, the more you can tailor your guidance to help them specifically.

Lead By Example

No one wants a professional mentor that just tells them to do this, not that. Instead, when your mentee has a problem, tell them about a time that you faced a similar issue, how you handled it, and how that worked out for you.

If you haven’t been in a similar situation, maybe you know someone who has or maybe you’ve watched the situation play out for someone else.

If you don’t have any personal experience with that situation, that’s okay too. You can admit that to your mentee and help them brainstorm ways to handle the issue.

Help Them Network

As a more established professional, you’re in the perfect position to help your mentee expand their professional network.

Invite them to networking events that you’re going to. Once you’re there, make the effort to introduce them to people in similar situations to theirs and people in positions that they aspire to.

You don’t need to be pulling strings to get them job opportunities, but the right introduction can go a long way toward helping them achieve their professional goals. After all, it’s not about what you know, but who you know.


Professional mentorship can be a great way to enrich your professional life and help guide the next generation of professionals in your field. It can also help refresh your knowledge of the field and make you excited about your work again.

Being a professional mentor can be just as rewarding as being a mentee, as long as you both put in an effort to build your professional relationship and play your part well.