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The Benefits of Being a Mentor

CFOs were asked, "Have you, at any point in your career, served as a mentor, either formally or informally?" Their responses...

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Mentors give their protégés a career boost — and receive one in return, suggests a Robert Half Management Resources survey. Thirty-eight percent of CFOs who have served as a mentor said the greatest benefit is the opportunity to improve their own leadership skills, followed by 29 percent who cited the internal satisfaction of helping others.

The survey also found the majority of financial executives (62 percent) have been mentors.

CFOs were asked, “Have you, at any point in your career, served as a mentor, either formally or informally?” Their responses:







CFOs who have been a mentor were also asked, “Which one of the following do you think is the greatest benefit of being a mentor?” Their responses*:

Offers you the opportunity to improve your leadership skills


Provides the internal satisfaction of helping someone else


Helps you build your professional network


Allows you to stay current on industry trends


No benefit to being a mentor




* Responses do not total 100 percent due to rounding.

“Mentoring programs benefit staff at all levels and give mentors an opportunity to hone their communication and leadership skills,” said Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. “Helping others navigate their careers is as powerful a development tool for the teacher as it is for the student.”

Hird pointed out that not all arrangements need to be of the traditional kind. “Some companies are exploring reverse mentorships, in which professionals earlier in their careers partner with tenured colleagues to share experience from other industries or provide technology coaching.”

Robert Half Management Resources offers tips for those interested in becoming a mentor.

  • Determine your value. Specify the type of advice and assistance you can provide.
  • Research your options. If you’re hoping to mentor a colleague, look into programs available through your company. There may be processes in place to match you with a potential mentee.
  • Go outside the office. Many groups actively seek mentors for their members, including university and high school alumni groups, community and philanthropic organizations, and professional and business associations.
  • Look for a rising star. Start by determining the type of person you want to mentor, such as a student entering your field or a manager looking to become an executive. Update your network on your goal