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4 Myths About Mentorship

Mentorships can open up a world of opportunity and growth on both sides, but some popular myths can hold us back from pursuing them. 


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Mentoring is a hot topic in today’s corporate world, and for good reason. Mentorships allow us to grow our careers and help others. They can also help us stay connected and confident in the face of new and ever-changing challenges. But there are some misconceptions that keep some people from taking advantage of this incredible tool. 

Let’s debunk some mentoring myths so we can shift our perspectives and use mentoring to move us toward our goals. 


Myth #1 – Only young professionals can benefit from mentoring. 

While the traditional image of mentoring involves a senior professional guiding a younger counterpart, it’s important to note that mentoring extends far beyond this framework. Everyone has something to learn and something to teach. In fact, reverse mentoring, in which young professionals mentor upper-level employees, has recently gained traction. This type of arrangement can help keep upper-level employees grounded in current events and techniques, bridge generational gaps, enhance communication skills, and promote diversity and inclusion.


Myth #2 – Coaching and mentoring are the same thing.

Not quite. Each has its time and place, but it’s important to determine which you’re looking for before diving into either. Mentoring is relationship-oriented, focused on long-term development and experience. Coaching is task oriented, focused on short-term performance goals or building a specific skill set. 


Myth #3 – Mentoring can only be effective when it’s face to face. 

False! In an age where so much of the work we do happens digitally, there’s no reason that remote mentoring can’t be effective. Mentorship via video or phone call, email, or any combination of these methods can help keep us engaged, inspired, and productive while working online. So long as communication is consistent, remote mentorships can be just as effective as in-person ones.


Myth #4 – Mentoring stops once you reach your goals

Mentoring takes a comprehensive approach to your personal and professional growth. Because it doesn’t revolve around a specific goal, mentoring doesn’t end when that objective is met. Instead, it provides ongoing support that encourages both mentor and mentee to continuously grow and evolve personally and professionally.


Convinced that a mentorship is the right move for you? Whether you are a seasoned professional looking to share your expertise or a rising star seeking guidance, Women in Consumer Finance offers a platform to connect with potential mentors or mentees who can help you become your best self. Don’t miss your chance to kick off the relationships that will shape your career this November 11-13 in Fort Worth, Texas. Find your people at WCF 2024!


This article is based on a workshop originally presented by Shelly Gensmer-Cleek and Amanada Bost at Women in Consumer Finance 2021.