Grow your career with a coach or a mentor

Have you ever wondered how you can grow your career with a coach or a mentor? Coaches and mentors can both play an important role for advancing in career but I know that there is often some confusion in the difference between the two and how beneficial these role-players can be. So in this post, we will explore the difference and I’ll break it down as simply as possible.

What are the key differences between a coach and a mentor:

  • You can expect a coach to ask questions that help you to come up with your own solutions and insights, instead of giving you direct answers; while a mentor will usually share their own experiences and knowledge to guide you.
  • Coaching is often focused on short-term goals and specific issues, while mentoring tends to be a longer-term relationship aimed at overall career development.
  • You will probably have to pay for a coaching service because most coaches are certified, while mentoring is typically a voluntary relationship.

Why you need a coach:

  • A coach can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, develop greater self awareness and come up with practical strategies for improvement.
  • Coaching can can provide objective feedback and help you set achievable goals.
  • You will have someone who will hold you accountable for taking action towards your goals.
  • They can offer support and motivation.

Why you need a mentor:

  • A mentor can provide valuable guidance, insights and advice based on their own experiences and expertise in a specific area of expertise, for example in leadership.
  • Mentors help you broaden your perspective, navigate challenges and opportunities in your career.
  • Your network will expand because you have the opportunity to be introduced to your mentors contacts and networks.
  • As you navigate your career growth, you will be offered encouragement and support as you strive to achieve your goals.

How to get a coach or a mentor?

  • At work, enquire with Human Resources on whether they have internal coaches or a formal mentorship programme.
  • Think of individuals that you have access to or admire in your profession and reach out to them formally, like an email, or informally in a conversation.
  • Let your friends and personal networks know that you are looking for a coach or a mentor; and because they know you well , they may be able to refer you to someone you can easily relate to.
  • Search for a reputable and certified career coach online (be careful of scams)

Beyond getting a coach or a mentor, here are some additional tips for your career:

  • Set clear goals for your career and make a plan for achieving them.
  • Seek out opportunities for learning and development, such as training programmes at your workplace, free online courses or workshops.
  • Build relationships with colleagues, peers and mentors who can offer support and guidance to help you reach your career goals.
  • Take on new challenges and responsibilities that are outside of your comfort zone, to develop your current skills, gain new ones and expand your experience.
  • Be open to feedback and willing to make changes based on it. This one is a real struggle, I know.
  • Keep up to date with developments in your field and be proactive in seeking out new opportunities.

If you would like to take your career goals to the next level this year, I would encourage you to consider connecting with a potential coach or mentor. Have you had an experience with one? I would love to know – please leave me comment to let me know.

Inbetween blog posts, let’s catch up on the socials




Modern Zulu Mom

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