The Incentive to Mentor - America's Future Foundation

August 29, 2016

The Incentive to Mentor

By: Brandon Livengood

Most people see the value in learning from someone with more experience. Yet the incentive for becoming a mentor is less clear. It may seem harsh to ask: “what do I get out of it?” But in a world that operates on self-interest, we have to accept that rational individuals need an incentive to take action.

Luckily for those searching for a mentor, there is hope (and an incentive)! By teaching others, mentors have to reflect on their professional skills. Helping others can also be a great way to refresh nearly-forgotten information. Additionally, good networking works both ways. Connecting your mentee to your network can increase the number of opportunities that come your way in the future.

You may be wondering: how do I get started? How do I mentor and what does it mean to lead by example?

In Roger Custer’s post titled, “Everyone Can Be a Mentor“, he describes how most of us are mentors already. Therefore whether you like it or not, everyone is either a good example or a bad example to someone.

Heather Huhman, a contributor to U.S. News and World Report also offers her two cents on the benefits of mentorship in “5 Reasons You’ Benefit from Helping a Mentee.

Finally, Lisa Quast writes in Forbes about “How Becoming a Mentor Can Boost Your Career.” Quast gives great universal advice, but also describes the unique importance of mentors for women.