You need mentors. If you have any doubt, pick up almost any career guidance book or magazine. According to Catalyst, a nonprofit that researches and advocates for women in the workplace, employees with mentors tend to earn more, advance further, stress less, and experience higher rates of job satisfaction. And that’s just career-focused mentoring!
Spiritual and life mentoring offer countless benefits too. I’m convinced, in fact, that God designed us for mentoring relationships. paints a picture of generations of men and women learning and growing in connection with one another. advises that “one generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts” (ESV). calls on believers to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another” (NIV).
This probably doesn’t come as news to most of you. Most working women I meet have been hearing for years about how they need more mentors in their lives. This is not bad advice; it’s advice I’ve given often. And a big part of what we have worked to develop at 4word is a guided mentoring program that brings together career-minded women of faith. But I’ve realized even within a program like ours, there can be lots of confusion about what mentoring is (and is not), and what kinds of roles both parties can and should play.1