Career and professional development is something that everyone strives for. And few things fortify professional development more than a great mentor.
To learn more about why this is, Olivet Nazarene University recently surveyed 3,000 people about what the professional mentor-mentee relationship looked like in 2019.
The survey looked at several key factors related to mentors, including:
- Industries where mentors are most common
- Gender dynamics in starting the relationships
- Experience level of people with mentors
The survey found that 76% of people think it’s essential to have a mentor. However, only 37% currently have a mentor now, and only 14% of people have taken the initiative to ask someone to be their mentor. So many people want mentors, but few have one. Why is this? Let’s dig a bit deeper into the survey results from Olivet Nazarene University.
The survey found that 56% of respondents said they had had a professional mentor at some point in their career. However, only 37% have a mentor currently. Another 9% of people said they might have a mentor currently, but the relationship was unclear or undefined. One interesting point is that people with mentors were slightly happier at their current jobs than people without a mentor.
The survey also looked at the experience level of people with mentors. A large percentage (57%) of people with mentors were junior level in terms of their experience. The percentage of people with mentors dropped as experience went up. Only 35% of mid-level employees had mentors and only 8% of senior-level employees. Specific industries were prone to having more mentors than others. Listed below is the breakdown of the sectors with the most mentors:
- Science (66%)
- Government (59%)
- Education (57%)
- Marketing, Advertising, PR (56%)
- Nonprofit, Social Services (55%)
- Engineering (52%)
- Professional Services (51%)
- Finance (45%)
- Skilled Labor, Trades (44%)
- Healthcare (43%)
One of the things Olivet Nazarene University was eager to learn about was how the mentor-mentee relationship began for most people. 61% of the surveyed respondents said that the relationship developed naturally. Only 14% of people specifically asked someone to be their mentors, while 25% of respondents said that someone offered to be their mentor. Most people, 59%, find it easy or very easy to get time with their mentor. Only 15% find it very difficult to schedule time with their mentor. Despite this, most people only meet in person once a month with their mentor.
The survey also looked at whether or not people work in the same industry with their mentors. Not surprising to see that over 81% of people work in the same sector as their mentor. 61% of people work at the same company as their mentor. However, most mentor-mentee relationships don’t carry across multiple jobs, and most mentors aren’t current managers. The full report from Olivet Nazarene University can be seen here.