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The future of personal coaching and mentorship

At MentorCruise, we do our best to connect people in need of some guidance with a suiting mentor for a longterm professional relationship. In fact, this year we increased our average mentorship length from 30 to 50 days. That’s a small success, but we know that it can be better.

Many of our best performing mentorships have been together for multiple months, even for over a year now! Since our start was just over 1.5 years ago, that’s pretty amazing to us, but it also made us think: Why do people use this service, and why is it needed?

Fact is, people look for mentors. Over 50,000 people every month search for mentorship, and we’re lucky enough that around 1,000 of them find us on their search for guidance and accountability. But we can’t help and ask: why? Let’s look into it.

The way we work changes

The worker of today differs fundamentally from the worker of 50 years ago. When we started out, we were often told how MentorCruise would never get off the ground, simply because “most companies have a mentorship program”. Today, the majority of workers aren’t with companies anymore, though. In the US alone, 62% of workers are freelancers – with projections going as far as to say that 90% of workers are going to be freelance by 2028. People need and want to learn independently.

Even if workers are fully employed at a company, the time that they stay there is continuously decreasing. While employees over the age of 65 have a median tenure of 10+ years, it’s only a little over 3 years for the average worker aged 25 to 34 today, making corporate mentorship programmes less effective.

One reason why we created MentorCruise was to have an independent choice, a mentor that is not coupled with your academic or professional career, and therefore the perfect guide for you, not your company.

Why people look for mentors

There are a range of studies about the effects of mentorships, and it would be rather difficult to find a single one with negative outcome. A study by SAP has identified the main reasons why we need mentorship, and what benefits come with it, for example.

  • Statistically, mentored employees have better career outcomes
  • Mentored employees receive the greater number of promotions and higher compensation
  • Mentored employees tend to be happier

Most of these studies were done in the context of corporate mentorships. As a private, independent mentorship community, we’ve had our fair share of our own experiences.

  • Mentees look for accountability in their studies
  • Mentees look for general guidance
  • Mentees look for support in times of vulnerability (e.g. after a layoff, before a career change)
  • Mentees look for knowledge

This shows by the distribution of our mentees, with roughly 1/3 looking for help with advancing their careers, 1/3 looking for help in their own studies, and 1/3 of mentees looking for help with a specific problem, such as a job search or a project.

Why we need more mentors

Mentors are not only needed by people looking for guidance, they are also associated with a range of great characteristics that are needed as managers and people in leadership positions.

While we pay our mentors, it’s in no way the key part of our offer to mentors. What mentors can gain from longterm mentorships is far more superior:

  • Getting in touch with new people across generations, locations, ethnicites and gender.
  • Building connections and relationships with promising candidates
  • Becoming a better leader and mentor at the day job
  • Gain new perspectives
  • Make real impact

Again, in times that are changing and that are requiring a certain sense of leadership in every employee (especially with self-directed remote work coming up more and more), being a mentor to others can be the missing stepping stone that people need. And in that way, the ecosystem is getting progressed in a close circle: With people becoming mentees, mentees becoming professionals, and professionals becoming mentors.

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