WHY YOUR CAREER
MENTOR DOESN’T HAVE
TO BE YOUR BOSS
The ONE Thing Blog. (Why your Career Mentor Doesn’t Have to be Your
Boss). Retrieved from (the1thing.com/the-one-thing/why-your-career-
mentor-doesnt-have-to-be-your-boss/). Based on the book The ONE
Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by
Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, Bard Press, 2013.
SPRING 2 0 1 8
HAVING ALL of your dominoes in a row as soon as you land a
new position is ideal, but the real world doesn’t work that way. To
continue on your trajectory toward achieving extraordinary results in
the workplace, you’ll often have to think outside the box. This even
applies to finding mentors that can help you navigate the career path
to your dream job.
Many of us turn to a manager for mentorship, but that isn’t your
only resource at work. Chances are you’re surrounded by lots of
professional people every day. Cultivating relationships with a wide
variety of professionals who fit your career mentoring criteria will
often yield better results than relying on a single mentor.
You may be surprised how many mentors – for various parts of your
life – work on the same floor or even in the cube next door. Let’s
explore your options!
WHY BOSSES DON’T ALWAYS MAKE THE BEST
Your boss or manager is a natural person to turn to for job-mentoring.
However, they aren’t always the best option. There are many reasons
why bosses aren’t necessarily the mentor of choice.
• Not all bosses are good communicators, which is a must for
• Some bosses don’t have the time or focus for mentoring.
• There are bosses that fear having their employees surpass
them in the workplace, and that mentality isn’t conducive for
• Your boss may not have the career you want, especially if your
ideal job is in another industry.
• You may not have a strong personal relationship with your boss,
or on the flip side, they may not want people thinking they are
showing you favouritism.
• Being a boss and a mentor at the same time can complicate
things at work.
Even if your boss is a good mentor candidate they may not have all
the qualities and expertise needed for you to meet your career goals.
IDENTIFYING THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF MENTORS
Finding everything you need in one mentor is an amazing feat. The
more effective solution could be seeking out numerous mentors that
can help you with specific aspects of your career. This requires that
you first know what your end goals are and what assistance you need
to achieve them. You’ll then want to identify the particular mentor
characteristics you’re looking for, which can be general or specific to
a certain need.