The problem: most every successful mentor relationship emerges after the mentee has chosen his/her field. That type of mentorship accelerates success. But it does not put one on the path to success.
Here’s the difference: I have a close friend – I’ll call “T” – who credits part of his business success to his mentor. T met his mentor when T was a young employee at a financial services company and the mentor was an executive. T had already committed to the financial services industry and he was suited for success in this field. T went out on his own – not with his mentor – and created a thriving investment services firm in the Farmington Valley in Connecticut. T is kind and loyal enough to credit his mentor for his success. But the truth is that T would have been successful in the financial services field anyway. The mentor played an important role in making T a big success at a faster rate.
I have another close friend – I’ll call “M” – who has a mentor in the legal field. The mentor has provided my friend excellent advice on how to succeed as an attorney. But M is not really suited to thrive as an attorney. He met his mentor after he committed to law. M is not doing that well. This is certainly not the mentor’s fault. The mentor is a generous and sage advisor.
In other words, while T’s mentor deserve some credit for T’s success, it was T’s wise choice of career field that suited him that was primary driver for T’s success. M’s mentor certainly doesn’t deserve any blame for M’s lack of success. M chose the wrong career.
Our work at Career Counseling Connecticut is to help our clients choose the right field. At that point, after the career is chosen, one of our suggestions will be, “if possible, get a mentor”.