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Opinion Editorials

A good mentor is hard to find — here’s what to look for

(OPINION EDITORIAL) Having a strong mentor in your life is important. More importantly, they should possess these characteristics.


On the path to success

As we work to blaze our own trails, we often look to others for guidance. While having a support system of friends and family is vital, it is also important to have a mentor that helps you on your path.

Now, a mentor isn’t just someone you look up to because you want what they have (i.e. your superior at work has the title you want, the salary you want, the office you want, etc.) Rather, a strong mentor is someone who is willing to take the time to teach you how to be your own version of successful.

Sharing, pairing, and caring

Like most things in life, there is no clear-cut way in which this exists. However, all mentors should possess the qualities of sharing, pairing, and caring (I’ll be the first to admit that that sounds like a horrible song from an even more horrible children’s show.)

Ignoring the blatant dorkiness of these ideas, let’s delve into their relationship to mentors – starting with sharing.

A good mentor has to share their story: where they started and how they got to where they are.

Most importantly, they need to share the hardships or adversities they faced on their path to success. This will help their mentee feel a comfort in knowing that any difficulties or challenges they’re enduring will not last forever.

Game, set, solid match

With pairing, a good mentor is one that pairs well with their mentee. Now, I’m not saying that they need to be extremely similar and like-minded, but it’s important to share the same values – even if you’re not looking for the same outcome (meaning, you can be in two different fields.)

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Valuing ideals such as hard work, honesty, loyalty, and pride (to name a few) are topics you can share ideas within.

Strong mentors will have stories about their values and will likely teach the mentee new ones along the way.

Finally, caring is a significant aspect of a mentor/mentee relationship. If either member falls short on keeping in communication, then there is no point. Making the time to strengthen this experience will not only help the mentee learn new things, but is also likely to teach the mentor a thing or two.


Staff Writer, Taylor Leddin is a publicist and freelance writer for a number of national outlets. She was featured on Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism, and is the editor-in-chief of The Tidbit. Taylor resides in Chicago and has a Bachelor in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.

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