Imagine if your tires were 10ft higher than everyone else’s and you can see any traffic congestion ahead of you. Imagine how much traffic you would avoid and how much time you would save.  Having a mentor for your career can be closely compared to this having someone who can guide you on your path to career success, someone who helps you see beyond your immediate surrounding.

No one has a monopoly of knowledge, not even our mentors. However, there is a reason why the statement two heads are better than one has lasted the test of time. This is simply because alone you can go fast, with help, you can go far.

“We are like dwarfs sitting on the shoulders of giants. We see more, and things that are more distant, than they did, not because our sight is superior or because we are taller than they, but because they raise us up, and by their great stature add to ours.” ~John of Salisbury/ Isaac Newton

It is common knowledge that the number of qualified candidates for jobs outnumber the jobs available, making the job market very competitive. If you have successfully acquired relevant certifications and experience, one of the ways of giving yourself an edge above others is finding a mentor. This preferably should be someone on the career path as you. With a mentor, you benefit from a relationship with someone who may provide knowledge, insight, support, guidance, and even the connections and networking opportunities you may require advancing in your career.

Sir Isaac Newton, one of the most influential scientists in the world made multiple references to the importance of having a mentor and this played a major role in the success he attained. Having a mentor is one of the surest ways of staying motivated, having someone always in your corner giving you advice and counsel.

A good mentor plays the role of a giant, he or she will motivate you. Standing on the shoulders of a giant you see beyond your immediate environment. This is to say a mentor broadens your vision on your career path and your career prospects. When you communicate your career visions to your mentor, they help you build your vision and put things in perspective. They help you paint a clearer vision and provide insights on how to get there.

A mentor’s major role is to provide advice, drawing from their wealth of knowledge, mentors advise their mentees and protect them from making mistakes. Mentors are not all knowing. A mentor performs an advisory function and prevents the mentee from making mistakes.

Though a mentor’s role is to protect you, they also have the role of coaching you to achieve your goals. They may share ways of succeeding in your career, showing and telling you ways of working smarter and achieving goals.

A good mentor challenges the mentee to be better, to be the best version of themselves, they serve as the wings beneath their wings. When a mentee feels defeated or exhausted in their career path, the mentor pushes them and motivates them to go farther.

The importance of having a mentor cannot be overstated. Standing on the shoulders of giants essentially means having a guide to achieving your future career goals.


Wede Omu,

Research, Learning, and Development



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