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Discussion on: [On-Demand Talk] How to Find a Mentor

fizzybuzzybeezy profile image

Thank you for the topic on finding a mentor, Tanaka.

I have mentored a handful of people in my role and I wonder what your ideas on mentoring someone who is older than you, ie. for career changers etc. Does it makes a difference? What helps?

Great idea on driving the mentor meetings towards your career goals.

tanakamutakwa profile image
Tanaka Mutakwa


Great question. It can be tricky to mentor someone older than you. There is a constant worry whether they respect your opinions or not. I believe it is important to establish a trust-based relationship with the person 1st. Once there is trust between you two then mentorship can happen naturally.

How to develop trust? Well it takes some time. You will need to prove what you are capable on the technology side but also build a relationship with the person as if they are your friend. Have frequent check-ins about work and life. Over time it will become easier.

fizzybuzzybeezy profile image
fizzybuzzybeezy • Edited

Good idea! It reminds me: a thing my company instituted a couple of years ago was one-on-one meetings scheduled on a frequency up to the associate, about the associate's work-life balance or whatever they want to discuss, held with their direct manager. Although it wasn't a mentor/mentee situation, I had a manager 10-15 years younger and the meeting helped strengthen our relationship even though we got along really well to begin with. Thank you Tanaka!