There are other types of mentoring, sometimes peer to peer as in high school, but here, we are only going to talk about business.
Mentoring someone is helpful if you see someone you know that wants to move into a position of greater responsibility. Often, a mentor will be outside the workplace, as it can sometimes be difficult to approach someone you work with to ask about them being your mentor. As the mentee, or student, you may be in a work environment where it is more beneficial to a company to have you remain in the position you currently hold. Don’t let that stop you from trying to achieve more.
Can you be both a mentor and a mentee? Of course, many of us move into new careers by desire or circumstance. While we may have valuable experience in one field, and can advise others, we may still need the expertise of someone else as we transition into a new career.
It is much about building relationships throughout your working life. The mentor/mentee situation can be quite fluid and consist of getting together for coffee to talk about business, or even a fifteen minute phone call to share ideas.
It is important to keep on top of changes in your company or industry, but sometimes it is hard to know how to do that and even hard to know how to deal with those changes. That is where a mentor can help you. Realize you have much to share and much to learn. It is a balancing act but one that will pay dividends down the road.