Have you ever started something new and suddenly felt stuck? This often happens to those paving their way in a new area. That’s why it’s wise to find a mentor - someone with enough experience and patience to guide you around the roadblocks. When starting your IT career, getting mentorship is truly beneficial.
A mentor can provide valuable insights and guidance based on their own experience in IT. They can offer advice on navigating various challenges and avoiding common mistakes, inspire and support you - because they’ve been through it all, and understand more than anyone how difficult it can be.
Who is a mentor?
A mentor educates or provides assistance and guidance to a less experienced, generally younger, individual. They give advice, direction, patronage, and aim the mentee towards development, success, and observable goals.
One of the most known examples of productive mentorship was the relationship between Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. Both acknowledged they were making a difference with their work, so the experience of the Apple co-founder helped Zuckerberg loads to lead his company to the place it’s currently at. During the early days of Facebook, when the company was facing challenges, Jobs offered Zuckerberg guidance on how to reconnect with his original mission. Jobs even shared personal experiences, such as visiting a temple in India, where he would go to rekindle his motivation and remember his goals for Apple.
A mentor doesn’t only answer questions about your field. They can help you concentrate on your objectives, coordinate your endeavors, and assist you with accomplishing them. They give feedback regarding your actions and investments because they have already been there, tested it, or have in-depth knowledge of the subject. This can assist you in streamlining your approaches and bolstering your confidence.
Why should you look for a mentor?
Professional development. Collaborating with a mentor can lead to self-exploration and continuous career development. Receiving constructive feedback helps you progress both personally and professionally, gaining the confidence and empowerment needed to steer your career in the desired direction.
Staying focused. Mentors assist mentees in concentrating on their career progression by establishing goals and breaking them down into manageable steps. Miscalculations of time or effort, feeling stuck on one task, or overworking may lead to undesirable results. A mentor’s guiding light will lead you on your journey. Mentors aid mentees stay focused and responsible for achieving their goals, motivating them to pursue their dreams.
Raising your confidence. Mentors provide a fresh perspective to help mentees break negative habits or unproductive thought patterns. The outcome is a boost in well-being and self-assurance. Furthermore, mentors can function as a sounding board for mentees to test out ideas, resulting in an improved ability to solve problems.
Expanding your network. Mentors may share their connections or introduce mentees to people who can assist in their career advancement or goal attainment. This exposure helps mentees step out of their comfort zone, hone their soft skills, and access new opportunities.
Overall, having a mentor can help you gain confidence and improve your skills to achieve your career goals in the IT industry. A good mentor can encourage and help you stay motivated through the ups and downs of your career journey.
Even if your IT career is yet to begin, having a mentor to back you up is a great idea.
Where to find a mentor
Not everyone can become a mentor and lead you to the right outcome. Mentorship is an area that requires knowledge, skills, and dedication. Here are some ideas of where you can find one.
- School. If you’re lucky, your school might have a mentoring program or provide direct communication with your tutor. At TripleTen, you get a whole community of people to mentor you.
- Industry. Look for IT professionals with experience and knowledge in the area you want to focus on. Refer to your senior colleague for advice if you trust their expertise.
- Events. Attend conferences, meetups, and other industry events to network with other IT professionals. This can be a great way to meet potential mentors and learn from their experiences.
- Community. Join online forums and communities related to your area of interest in IT. Engage with other members and seek advice from those with more experience in the field.
How is a mentor different from a tutor?
While both mentors and tutors provide guidance and support to their respective students, the two roles have several key differences.
A tutor is usually focused on providing specific academic or technical support to help students improve their skills in a particular subject or area. Tutors often provide direct instruction and may use specific teaching techniques or methods to help their students learn.
A mentor, on the other hand, provides broader guidance and support to help their mentee develop, both personally and professionally. This may include giving career development advice, guidance on navigating workplace dynamics, or resolving non-academic issues. The mentor-mentee relationship is often more personal and involves deeper trust and commitment.
Do a mentor and a career coach have anything in common?
Mentors and career coaches share some similarities in that they offer guidance and support to help individuals develop their careers.
However, a mentor usually has experience and expertise in a particular field and provides guidance and advice based on these experiences. Mentors often work with their mentees over a longer time, and support career development, leadership skills, and personal growth.
A career coach, on the other hand, is a professional trained to help individuals identify and achieve their career goals. Career coaches may also work with clients short-term, guiding job search strategies, career transitions, and skill development.
TripleTen’s career coaches are talent acquisition specialists with experience in both Fortune 500 companies and startups. They prepare job-search strategies , build students' professional profiles, and train them for interviews. With career coaching, you’ll learn how to stand out from the crowd, confidently answer interview questions, perfect responses, and prepare for any role in the industry.
While mentors and career coaches have different focus areas, both roles can be a valuable source of support for individuals seeking to develop their careers. Ultimately, the choice between working with a mentor or a career coach depends on the individual's specific needs and goals.
Who can be my mentor at TripleTen?
At TripleTen, various people can take on the role of a mentor:
- Tutor. TripleTen tutors are active professionals in their fields. They have practical experience working with the latest technologies and are up-to-date with industry trends and best practices. They are passionate about teaching and are committed to helping students succeed. Many have experience teaching at universities, coding bootcamps, and other educational institutions.
- Code reviewer. Oftentimes their job is more than just doing an instant code review and pointing out what to improve. They also give encouraging feedback and can answer any technical questions.
- Senior student. Having a senior student to support you at the beginning of your studies helps you resolve many questions. Also, it’s nice having an inspiring example nearby. Seeing a senior peer progress in their studies and land a dream job is a great motivator.
- Career Team leads. Being in professional hands career-wise is as equally important as getting trained by an industry expert. The career program at TripleTen focuses on preparing students to successfully land a job.
“Our mentors participate in webinars where they talk about their careers: how they started, where and how they studied, what goals they set for themselves, what difficulties they’ve encountered, and how they overcame them,” says TripleTen Career Product Lead Ana Mineeva.
Don’t be afraid of starting something new. Find a mentor who will help you achieve your goals faster, adjust your steps, so that you’ll have fewer chances of giving up. Enroll in TripleTen Bootcamps to start your career in tech with the guidance of professional mentors.