Aug. 10, 2021
Behind virtually every successful person, there’s a supportive mentor as the backbone. Bill Gates has Warren Buffet, Warren Buffet had Benjamin Graham, and he had someone, too.
In fact, 87% of mentors and mentees feel empowered by their mentoring relationships and developed greater confidence. That never hurts. Of course, things got a little complicated after the global pandemic hit, making it difficult to find or maintain a mentorship.
It doesn’t have to be difficult, though. As all things moved online, so did mentoring relationships. Virtual mentoring platforms like MentorCruise are part of a new era to remove physical barriers, and they’re proving to be a wide success for remote employees and students.
In this 6-minute read, we’re going to introduce you to the industry. By the end of your read, you’re going to learn:
Virtual mentors are veterans in their field ready to guide novices worldwide on the right path through online communication (like video conferencing and chat).
Mentors strive to teach career development, confront personal challenges, and help set and manage a mentee’s success expectations. They accomplish that by continued support through actionable advice, mentoring activities, and lessons. It’s great because you grow through genuine relationships and deeper communication, with no physical bound.
A good mentor is hard to find in real life, let alone online. Getting them to commit is even harder. That’s why a trusted source and matcher for virtual mentorship and coaching is the best way to find the perfect mentor-mentee match and start thriving as soon as possible.
A virtual mentoring program is probably a foreign topic to you, but it can be an incredible alternative to traditional on-site mentoring, giving you access to a wider range of talent. Whether you’re an aspiring mentor or eager-to-learn mentee, you’re naturally wondering why you should bother investing your time and effort in a virtual mentoring relationship.
That’s a good question. And it’s one we’ll answer clearly in this benefits section:
Thanks to technology, participants in a mentorship program can meet online at a mutually convenient time from any location. They’re not restricted by 9-5 office hours or limited room bookings.
Especially with the pandemic, parents struggle with work-life balance as they must attend to their families and kids (since most daycares and babysitters are unavailable) while committing to work all under one roof.
So, the ease of tapping into a call whenever you want at the comfort of your home is particularly appealing to people with familial responsibilities. You don’t have to stunt your professional growth for your new stay-at-home reality–virtual mentoring helps ensure that.
Mentees may feel excluded and disheartened if they can’t find a mentor that understands their needs, experience, and background. Likewise, a mentor may feel ineffectual and like they’re wasting their time with the wrong mentee, who’s not looking for what they offer. These issues of inclusion are a mutual waste of time and money.
But, with a virtual mentoring program, the range and diversity of mentors and mentees increase exponentially since you can reach professionals in other office locations, cities, even countries. That way, you have a higher chance of matching with the right person than settling for a mediocre relationship because that’s all that was available to you.
There’s no point in running virtual mentoring programs if you can’t make strong matches to ensure strong results. A leading mentoring software like MentorCruise gives you filtering options to root out the best possible mentors for your situation.
Although society has its 9-5 clock, it’s no secret that many of us aren’t morning people, don’t like working in the afternoon, and some of us are night-owls who can move mountains under the moon.
For mentees, one of the upsides of a virtual learning platform is that online courses are easily accessible and replayable. You don’t need to attend that class at 2:00 PM anymore. Click play at 3 in the morning for all you care–whichever time you work and learn best.
Mentors also aren’t pressured to follow a strict curriculum before a semester ends. They can set reasonable deadlines for any goals or projects and offer continued support optimized and integrated within their busy schedules through their expertise.
Often though, mentoring is seen as a one-sided benefit favoring the mentee’s career advancement. Though valid, a mentor still experiences some great research-backed benefits.
For example, 87% of mentors (and mentees) feel more confident and empowered through their mentoring relationship, and coaching others can make a mentor more productive themselves. Building confidence is directly correlated to solid work performance and overall career success.
Not to mention, mentoring others is a strong display of selflessness, initiative, and leadership–strong beacons to other people that you’re a qualified individual who supports collective growth and success.
With the growing popularity of virtual mentoring sessions, an online mentoring platform like MentorCruise has gained much attention. As it’s a paid platform with mentors in one of the most competitive and crucial industries, tech, it’s important to determine whether they’re legitimate and worth the investment.
Long story short: MentorCruise is a solid platform with great mentors with proven results. Here’s how to vet whether a virtual mentoring platform is for you.
Virtual mentoring comes with many upsides like convenience, better matching, personalized scheduling, and career growth and success. But, it also brings forth some challenges. Nothing is perfect, after all. But, we’ll also cover some solutions to mitigate their negative effects.
Modern technology is excellent at bringing people together, but it still isn’t the same as meeting someone in person. For the same reasons, virtual mentoring may be beneficial to some people, it may also be detrimental to others.
93% of communication is non-verbal, meaning that your tone of voice and body language communicates a lot of underlying emotions, motives, and feelings. That makes our interactions more interesting and meaningful. So, people who value body language in getting to know somebody might have difficulty or take a bit longer to adjust to virtual mentoring sessions.
Mentoring is all about human connection. Encouraging asynchronous communication, such as through chat and long-form messaging, can help prevent issues related to a lack of communication from arising and ensure that mentees and mentors stay accountable throughout the relationship.
To maximize the quality of interaction with non-verbal cues, it’s encouraged to use video calls as much as possible. Icebreakers and social time are also great to get to know each other better.
Virtual mentorships can open you to a more diverse range of mentors, but that comes with some drawbacks. Scheduling virtual meetings can prove challenging if the mentor and mentee live in different cities or countries with largely gapped time zones.
A mentor’s open afternoon, maybe a mentee’s dinner time. So, finding a good time to meet can cause a lot of back and forth and undesired friction.
When looking for a mentor, scan all the viable options in your time zone first before moving outside of it. When approving a mentee, ensure that you’ll be able to accommodate their needs and serve them with the same energy and commitment you would with a person in your area. If you feel like you won’t be the most helpful to them at 10:00 PM, it may be best to pass.
Both mentors and mentees must understand that in order for virtual mentoring to work, you need to establish measures that create accountability. This includes setting regular milestones for the mentee to accomplish, whether throughout the day, week or month.
Milestones are also an effective way to track progress. In sales, this could be increasing the number of leads prospected during a time period. In marketing, the mentor can encourage the mentee to engage more on social media, or to publish more blog posts.
Different types of milestones include:
Milestones serve as signposts throughout the relationships to ensure that the mentee is developing throughout the program. They are an excellent way to figure out if the goals you’re setting are within reach or if they’re too challenging for the mentee. When the latter happens, delays tend to happen, and that is an indication to modify the program.
Virtual mentoring is largely effective in connecting people, encouraging career and self-growth, and building community. During the current crisis, virtual mentoring offers the chance to bond while still physically distancing in these uncertain times.
Hopefully, by now, you know exactly what virtual mentoring has to offer, the downsides, and what to look out for in a great mentoring platform. If you’re ready, start scouting for your ideal mentor for free and give that 7-day free trial with them a shot on MentorCruise.
Our 'state of mentorship' report sums up the benefits, reports and effects that mentorship has on the modern working environment.