Mentor vs. Mentee: Understanding the Differences and What Each Entails

By Kassandra Sanchez

Searching for a mentor is a concept that many people who are starting their career path take into consideration. A mentor is someone who guides you through the ups and downs of your career. However, this unity between mentor and mentee is simply another relationship. Like every relationship in our lives, there will be different dynamics. This is why it is essential to understand what each person brings to the table. 


According to the World of Education Services, a mentor is an “individual with more experience, knowledge, and connections [that] is able to pass along what they have learned to a more junior individual within a certain field.” Obtaining a mentor will help you grow within your career as they teach you how to improve your skills and provide advice and connections as you progress. The critical component of a mentor is constructive criticism. A mentor offers a new perspective on your career path. This criticism allows you to improve your weaknesses and consider what they believe is the best action for you at the moment. Furthermore, a mentor teaches discipline and must provide techniques for their mentee to become autonomous. 


On the other side of the coin, the mentee’s job is to listen and observe their mentor. As a mentee, it is your responsibility to show respect for your mentor and the tools they provide. It is about listening to the advice they give and applying it to your daily work. A mentee excels the most in their mentorship when they show their mentor the autonomy they have learned. They are capable of taking in constructive criticism and applying it to improve their skill sets. Through the mentorship, the mentee will soon learn how to take the next step in their plans. They must learn how to strategize and eliminate the need to ask their mentor questions. 

Like any other relationship, a mentorship needs each person to bring their best. Mutual respect and patience are necessary to be able to learn from one another. The mentor must teach the mentee and provide them with the correct tools to achieve their best versions of themselves. The mentee must also listen and apply the lessons they learn. Overall, mentorships improve the lives of both individuals. Maybe it is time for you to search for a mentor or become a mentor for someone else.  


Oshinkale, Yetunde. “Definition of Mentorship: What Is a Mentor and Do You Need One?” World of Education Services, 18 Sept. 2019.

Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

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