Mentoring is dead

Illustration by Conxita Herrero

There is more than one great mentor waiting for you. In fact, there are many in front of you, and they were there all this time but you still didn’t realize it or didn’t dare to consider them mentors. Mentoring as you know it is dead.

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The role of mentors and how they are found has changed radically. Today employees are not hired to be apprentices, they are hired to be autonomous creative with multiple talents.

Mentors give us the knowledge we lack, give contention, open doors to new connections and impart philosophies that, otherwise, we would learn after years and years of experience and mistakes. Companies no longer invest in that traditional model; The tutorials are not integrated into junior jobs or internships. Almost all the jobs you find on Linkedin these days require that whoever applies be proactive, that you take the initiative.

While this may put new hires in a “sink or swim” situation, in most cases, the new generation of professionals manages to handle it and achieve very good results. There is no longer a mentor who says what work we should do and how to do it, today this kind of help is elsewhere.

There are no longer (or very few) CEOs or founders eagerly looking for a recent university graduate to prepare to take up their work one day. We are no longer gears within a pre-established professional career with steps that must be passed as levels of Mario Bros. In today’s world, mentors are made and found in places like Instagram.

Networking is the new mentor

Mentors themselves are not extinct, the models under which they used to exist are. Now, it is easier than ever to turn to our peers for professional help. You can check this by opening Instagram and looking for terms like “UX”. How many accounts provide personalized information and advice on each of the problems that a designer or designer may face? Thousands. They talk not only about tools and design tips themselves but also deal with issues such as how to deal with customers, how much to charge for your work and what to do to be more productive. It’s a world.

Networking is constantly named as a necessary step to success, but nowhere will you find that the connections you make have to be to have a position of greater hierarchy than yours, be more experienced or simply be larger to be useful. Nowadays it is not necessary to look for a mentor that meets these characteristics. The new model — and the one I find most useful — is to generate a network of mini-mentors. Having an untouchable mentor, majestic and, often, almost inaccessible, no longer makes sense. LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and other networks allow us to find a handful of people from different industries and with different levels of experience willing to help you with whatever you need.

This network system generates freedom to look beyond an assigned person or more experienced professionals. And the good thing is, your mentor can still be your boss. The better thing is that it no longer has to be.

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