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3rd October 2018 Amy Firth

Mentor Myth-Busting

While the benefits of having a mentor may be considered obvious, often the benefits of being a mentor are overlooked. We aim to shed some light on some of the myths about mentors, based on the feedback from past AMA mentors from our mentoring scheme


Myth 1: Mentoring takes up a lot of time.

You might be surprised to know that a successful mentoring relationship can be sustained on just 1 hour every 2-3 months. You can get a lot of ground covered in an hour, and having a regular – but not too regular – catch-up provides a good opportunity for both of you to take a step back from your day-to-day to review how things are progressing with both your professional and personal development in the intervening periods.


Myth 2: Mentoring won’t benefit me.

The basis of a meaningful mentor-mentee relationship is not one based around the mentor tutoring a passive protégé, but one where you bring different perspectives to each other. Working with a mentee can help bring new solutions. At AMA we look for a minimum of 5 years professional experience difference when pairing mentors and mentees. It’s not just about the professional experience though – the experience which a mentee at a different career-stage brings can shape mentor-thinking too. It’s tough to be across everything when digital technology and trends change so quickly – and the perspective of others from outside your circle should not be underestimated.


Myth 3: There’s no reason for me to be a mentor.

Getting the mentor-mentee partnership right is key – we want to pair you with someone that brings as much to the party as you do. So we look at what our mentors want to get out of it – perhaps you want to raise your profile, perhaps you want to develop your skill-set, perhaps you want the personal satisfaction of seeing the difference you can make or maybe you just want the experience for your CV… there are lots of reasons why you might want to start your journey as a mentor, and we work to deliver against your goals.


Myth 4: Mentoring is thankless task.

Mark Zuckerberg has spoken about the difference his mentor, Steve Jobs, made to his career. Okay, we can’t all be Steve Jobs. But you might be surprised the difference that you can make, and how motivating that feeling can be. But don’t take our word for it – here’s what some of our past mentors have to say:


“It’s really rewarding – and it’s helped me to realise how much knowledge I’ve accumulated over 20 years. I’ve also learned a lot from my mentees…it feels great to be sharing insights and giving something back”
Catrin John
Marketing and Communications Manager, Watershed

“Giving an outside perspective on somewhere else also helps me think more objectively about my own organisation”

2017 Mentor


AMA’s mentoring scheme runs periodically across the year. You can find more details about upcoming cohorts here.