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Because any mentoring relationship requires a commitment of time and energy on the part of both the mentor and the mentee, it’s natural to ask yourself what’s in it for you. Though the primary goal of the mentor/mentee relationship is growth and development of the mentee (and in that sense can be seen as asymmetric), the relationship is reciprocal, with both parties benefitting.
Mentees look for mentors because they believe there’s lots to be learned – personally and professionally – from more experienced professionals in their field, organization, or industry. Mentees are especially interested in developing personal and professional competencies and achieving particular goals and they recognize that a mentor can help guide them in this. They also know that many people attribute their career success and job satisfaction to having been mentored. [Source: Allen, et al, “Designing Workplace Mentoring Programs: An Evidence-Based Approach,” page 4-5.]
Benefits of being a mentee
And, beyond the specific agreed to purpose for entering into the relationship, it’s clear that mentees derive lots of other benefits too. Here are just some of the benefits mentees often report that they got out of a being a mentee:
• An increased self-awareness of their strengths and weaknesses
• An increased self-awareness of their values and goals
• Satisfaction from committing to personal and professional growth
• The opportunity to receive constructive feedback regarding various skills
• The opportunity to commit to holding themselves accountable
• The opportunity to develop or refine interpersonal skills
• The opportunity to build their support network
• The opportunity to develop lasting friendship