Mentor vs Coach vs Mentee

By Kassandra Sanchez

Throughout your years in college and in your career, you will need guidance and enlightenment. Finding a mentor or a coach may help you find your path. However, there is a difference between the two of these, and it is essential for you to learn about both. Mentors and coaches help us throughout various stages of our lives and serve different purposes. 

According to Indeed, a mentor “is an individual with extensive professional experience that fosters the development and growth of a less experienced individual.” You can find a mentor in a more experienced peer, a higher-up, or someone in a different company who’s had a life-long career. A mentor guides you through your career path, especially when there are hardships. In addition, you could have a life-long relationship with your mentor.

A mentor is there to guide you, but it is up to you to absorb their wisdom. It is also essential to show respect to your mentor and demonstrate that you are taking their advice seriously. Make sure that you are not only listening to their critiques but taking action to better yourself. Likewise, show interest in their career and how they achieved their success, and stay active in your relationship with them. 

Now, let’s explore what coaches are here for. According to the International Coaching Community, a coach “[helps] a person change in the way they wish and helping them go in the direction they want to go.” The relationship with a coach is  much shorter than with a mentor. Coaches focus on the trainee’s present self and who they want to become in the future. A coach is there to encourage their trainee to achieve their full potential and to reach their goal. Unlike a mentor, a coach does not need to be an expert in a particular field. A coach simply helps unlock the power one holds within. 

Photo by Medienstürmer on Unsplash

When it comes to your relationship with your coach, it is similar to that of a mentor. However, the relationship might not need to be as personal as with your mentor. Nevertheless, it is vital to apply your coach’s strategies to your goals. 

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