The Gateway to Boss Status? Become a Mentor

(Credit: #WOCinTech)

(Credit: #WOCinTech)

“They” say those who can, do; those who can't, teach.

We’re flipping the script and calling BS on this one. Because those who “teach” in a mentorship role are doers and next-level leaders. So much so, they serve as role models to the eager protégées who learn from their wins and their fails. 

We know that having a mentor (or four) is a critical component to success. It’s a two-way street, really, because becoming a mentor and imparting your wisdom on the lucky candidates under your wing will serve you in more ways than you know. 

Mentorship has always been an important tenet at Create & Cultivate; in fact, the mentor sessions are a key component of the Create & Cultivate conference. And while the Bosses imparting their truths to keen attendees are at the top of their game, they are clearly honored and stoked to be advising the ladies in their mentoring sessions. 

So if you’re looking to take your career to the next level, it might be time to consider becoming a mentor. 

Here are 6 reasons why:


Whether you’re meeting with your mentee(s) on the regular or serving as their mentor on the phone or via Google Hangouts, they will try to absorb every tidbit of wisdom you’re sharing. And when you’re focusing on your trade, you’re becoming an expert on the topic as a result -- whether you realize it or not. 

So if the pesky feeling of Imposter Syndrome creeps its way into your psyche every now and then, kick it to the curb with your renewed “expert vibes.” 

After all, even though you’re slaying career-wise, every now and then you might second-guess your path, passion or purpose. This is normal! 

Sometimes our inner critic / doubter / hater gets the best of us and makes us wonder, “Have I got what it takes?” Being a mentor and the ensuing validation it offers might just be enough to give you the confidence boost you need. 


Imagine being a mentor to the next Uber founder? They might be right there, in the next batch of millennial leaders. And if you are currently mentoring a high school student, then you are likely gaining amazing insight into the generation younger than millennials, dubbed Generation Z (a.k.a. Gen Edge).

You’re getting direct access to these brilliant and ultra tech savvy minds, and this can open your eyes to a whole new business idea or new way of doing things. So enjoy and stay dialed into these a-ha moments. 


As you impart your truths and help pave the way for the bright young leaders of tomorrow, you might spot a spark in one of them and realize they should join your team. 

Whether they join you on a freelance or full-time basis, imagine the magic that can be created when you find the right people who share your vision and complement you in the best ways possible. 


Throwing it back to Create & Cultivate Los Angeles this past May, where kindness was one of the key themes. All the keynote speakers emphasized the importance of being nice, and Rachel Zoe shared her open-door philosophy as a boss. 

Helping someone else make the most of their career is the ultimate way of paying it forward. When you feel fulfilled and happy to help an up-and-coming dynamo, it adds to your gratitude bucket, which is a popular element in becoming successful. So make karma your kween and pay it forward by helping others as a mentor. 

"Make karma your kween and pay it forward by helping others as a mentor."

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Eventually the student might even become the teacher -- the ultimate yaaasss!” moment. 


When someone is looking to you for advice and wisdom, you need to make sure you’re up for the challenge. This is the perfect motivation to keep your expertise sharp, on-point, and always ahead of the game. After all, if they’re looking to you for inspiration, you need to make sure you’re worthy of their spotlight. 


The appreciation your mentees experience when receiving your expert advice and dedication is enough to light up your day, and give you all the feels.

Remember that you can be a mentor to different people, at different stages of their careers. This is a great way to stay on your toes and be reminded of what it’s like to be in the very early stages of your business. 

As well, online platforms like Glassbreakers allow you to sign up as a mentor to modern women from diverse backgrounds, and you get matched up with women with common career goals. 


The whole “mentor-mentee” relationship requires chemistry, kind of like finding a partner. So try to be in tune with the people you encounter throughout your day-to-day, who might just become your protégées, pretty organically. Or seek out some lucky candidate(s) to take under your wing, with a local “Big Sister” program or mentoring organization.

However you go about it, embrace it, because being a mentor is the gift that keeps on giving. 


Karin Eldor is a coffee-addicted copywriter, with a long-time love for all things pop culture, fashion and tech. Ever since she got her first issues of YM (remember that one?) and Seventeen in the mail, she was hooked on the world of editorial content. After earning her Communications degree, she spent 6 years honing her craft as a Senior Editor for More recently, Karin enjoyed gramming and strategizing as Social Media Manager at ALDO. Today, she is Chief Content Writer at 818 Agency and a social media consultant.  

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