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When you’re first starting out in your career, having a mentor may be exactly what you need to help you get acquainted with the company culture or give you legitimate professional advice.But not all mentor relationship is perfect. Like any relationship, it’s all about timing and when the alliance isn’t mutually beneficial, it can get messy. However, you have to know how to break things off in a professional manner.
So how do you do this?
Amy Jen Su and Muriel Maignan Wilkins at the Harvard Business Review says you should try to reach out to other people — maybe even form other mentor relationships. Aside from this, you need to learn how to “stand on your own” and not be too closely associated with your mentor. This is especially true if other people at your company start to perceive your mentor negatively.
Su and Maignan write:
Show others that you are your own person and not solely defined by your mentor. To change this perception, start generating critical results. If a key metric is sales, close a few sales — on your own. If ideas can gain you some traction, present new ones to the organisation — on your own. You get the drift. When you start actively letting your results speak on your behalf (and not just your mentor), it will help others experience you as a leader in your own right.
Despite all of this, having a mentor proves to be beneficial in the long run. According to a study published by Sun Microsystems, employees with mentors actually earn more money that those who don’t have one — approximately $5,610 to $22,450 more annually.
Furthermore, the study says that 75 per cent of executives interviewed claimed that their mentors played a significant role in shaping their careers.
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