This survey reveals the best way to find a mentor

A staggering 76% of the 3,000 individuals surveyed believed mentors to be “important” even if only 37% of that same pool currently have one.

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Olivet Nazarene University recently published a survey of 3,000 participants to get a more vivid picture of a typical mentor-mentee relationship in 2019.

Many experts agree mentors need to be seminal in establishing a strong foundation for success. Fortunately, the vast majority of participants surveyed for Olivet Nazarene University’s report have no qualms with this philosophy. A staggering 76% of the 3,000 individuals surveyed believed mentors to be “important” even if only 37% of that same pool currently have one.


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Industries with the most mentors

The study reveals an interesting element that contributes to the popularity of mentorships. Apparently, respective industry and field played a big role. The majority of respondents that professed a current mentorship belong to careers in Science (66% of responders to be exact). Government follows closely behind with 56% and Education rounds out the top three with 57%.

I suppose this makes sense when examined beside the 81% of individuals that say their mentor should work in the same industry as they do and the 61% that said their mentors currently work at the same company as them.  Most of the workers surveyed additionally stated that it helps if their mentor is the same sex.

Curiously, careers in finance express some of the lower statistics of mentorship alongside healthcare professionals and skilled labor.

The responders that currently have or experienced established and discussed mentor-mentee relationships in the past cite that the average amount of time that they were under tutelage was a little less than three and a half years, with  four meetings taking place less than one time a month

Although 63% of individuals don’t currently employ a mentor by and large the ones that do say they are much happier for it.

Developing the relationship

It’s important to make sure the person you settle on if you do decide to take on mentorship was arrived at via thorough research and consideration. Randi Bussin, career coach and counselor,  wrote for Ladders on the topic of mentorship.   “Be clear on why you want a mentor and why you are meeting. Define what type of help you’re looking for in a mentor. Are you looking for someone with similar skills or someone with a very different skill set who can coach you? Are you looking for someone who has gone up the corporate ladder and can advise you on the ins and outs of corporate politics?”

The Olivet Nazarene University survey made a point to reveal how most lasting mentor-mentee relationships are developed. According to the survey, very few mentorships begin with a mentee asking for a mentor outright. Only about 14% begin this way.

One in four mentorships are offered but for the most part, the relationship is procured naturally (61%.)

Take a look at the infographic below for more detailed information from the survey.


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CW Headley|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at cheadley@theladders.com.