Role Models vs. Mentors
A role model is like that person you see going to the gym every single day and you wish you could be as fit as one day.
A mentor is like the trainer at the gym who offers you a plan to increase your fitness, evaluates your progress, and makes suggestions.
In terms of careers, a role model is the person well-known for their outstanding accomplishments.
A mentor is the person who once was in the place you were starting out and has insight into navigating a career path.
You may already have a dozen or so role models that you follow on social media. They inspire you, and others, with their achievements.
The relationship with a mentor is one-to-one. Just like the trainer at the gym, your mentor understands where you want to go and can offer specific and valuable guidance on how to get there. A mentor can, like the trainer at the gym, suggest actions you can take that you may not have considered or thought you were ready for.
A mentor is someone who can act as a sounding board for your own ideas and developing insights. One key aspect to the mentor relationship is that your mentor will, over time, get to know your strengths, interests and weaknesses and can offer you specific guidance.
Your mentor may even introduce you to other people you could learn from. In a sense, having a mentor opens the door to opportunities a little wider.
A role model can inspire a goal and the desire to reach it.
A mentor can show you the ways you can accomplishment it.
Interested in finding a mentor? In an upcoming post, I’ll talk about some ways you can do just that.
What are your thoughts on role models and mentors? Have you had a mentor? Who is your role model? How do you think a mentor would be helpful to you?