The truth is, almost anyone can mentor someone if they’re at least a year ahead of the person they’re mentoring. For example, anytime someone new comes into your job with a path that you’re on, you could mentor them by teaching them what you know about the position and guide them to help them avoid mistakes you made.
Having said that, the best mentors generally have job titles where the mentee wants to go.
A good mentor will act as a teacher. If you are in a position at your work where you can teach others how to do what you do, then you can be a mentor. You don’t have to be in management or have an advanced position to be a good mentor for someone who is brand new.
Another role a mentor plays for their mentees is a motivator. It’s sort of like a cheerleader. If you’re in a position where you can be a cheerleader for your colleagues, you can be a mentor to someone.
This is a great position to be in if you want to become a mentor. As a team leader, you already garner a certain amount of respect. All you need to do now is be open to mentoring new people who join your team or who also want to be team leaders in their departments.
A department manager can also be a mentor to someone who is a short way away from being one themselves. The best mentor isn’t too far above the person they’re mentoring. Probably more than five years ahead is too much, other than if it’s someone who is helping you for years and helps plan your overall career trajectory.
A person who works in HR is set up in a good way to help mentor others anywhere in the business. They know who to go that will open doors for new and promising talent, and where to go for more education.
Any type of manager who is a leader can be a good mentor. You don’t have to be a manager, but it does help because you can certainly help open doors for others based on who you network with – whether in your business or in other businesses.
The point is that any type of role where you’re above the person who needs the mentor can be helpful. But, to be a mentor you also need to be able to open doors, help them get more education, and motivate them to be better. Having said that, depending on what you’re doing there is no set job role that makes a good mentor other than being at least one year ahead of the person you want to mentor.