A successful career is not only about earning more money. Excelling professionally in a meaningful way could bring you immense personal satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment. It enables you to help others to achieve their career goals and bring contentment and happiness to many more people. Of course, the extra income would certainly help, too, to lead a comfortable life and achieve your personal dreams.

Coaching and mentoring are two essential components for career success, regardless of your industry and what type of role you are currently in. If you haven’t benefited from them already, keep reading. In this article, you will learn why you should leverage coaches and mentors for professional growth.

Coaching Vs. Mentoring: What Is the Difference?

Many people mistake these two concepts as one. But they represent two very different yet equally important practices. Understanding the distinctions is vital to ensure you benefit from them effectively.


This involves guiding an employee to achieve skills and career goals. For example, someone could coach you on public speaking so you are comfortable talking in front of a crowd. They could teach you tools, techniques, and essential tips for fighting your nerves, projecting your voice, and improving your speaking and presentation skills.

Coaching takes a more structured approach and often follows a pre-defined plan to help you reach your goals.

And not everyone can become a coach. These are usually experienced professionals who coach others for a living. They specialize in specific areas and apply unique strategies, models, exercises, and formats to help their coaches. For instance, a coach may have patented models and techniques they have developed to help you improve productivity at work.

The business coaching industry alone was estimated to be $15.2 billion in 2022. It delivered a return on investment for 86% of businesses, with 96% of coachees admitting they would work with a coach again.

So, where can you find an experienced coach? Leadar is an excellent place to search for a coaching expert in a specialized area. You can also speak to senior colleagues and your social network for a recommendation.


Mentoring typically involves a senior professional guiding a junior colleague based on personal experiences, knowledge, and insights they have accumulated throughout their career. This can take a more informal and unstructured approach than coaching.

Anyone can become a mentor; it doesn’t require specialized knowledge. It is more relationship-based and can take place for a short period or even for life.

Often, mentors will guide you on a broad range of career-related matters. They would listen to your concerns, share their views and thoughts, advise you, and help put things in perspective so you could make better decisions.

According to a Gallup study, having a mentor can help shape the employee experience in organizations. But it can also extend throughout your career, helping you progress faster toward your goals.

What is the best way to find a mentor? They are likely within the network of people you already interact with. Consider someone you admire and feel inspired by, and ask them whether they could take you under their wings and be your mentor.

Benefits of Coaching and Mentoring for Professional Growth

So, why should you find a coach or mentor for yourself? Here are a few compelling reasons:

  • Improving confidence

Many people have limiting thoughts and insecurities that prevent them from progressing in their careers. A coach or mentor can help you see your potential, identify your strengths, guide you to overcome weaknesses, and provide the necessary support and encouragement for you to achieve your goals with confidence.

  • Developing new skills

A mentor could guide you to identify the skills required for professional growth. A coach, on the other hand, will help you develop those skills in a structured manner. They will teach you useful exercises, provide constructive and objective feedback, and equip you to track progress.

  • Refining career goals

From time to time, your career goals and objectives can change. So, reassessing them periodically is important. A mentor, for instance, can assist you in recognizing your skills and strengths and point you in directions you have never considered before. With their career experiences, they can shape your thinking and help you explore different opportunities.

A coach could also guide you to set realistic and attainable goals with specific, measurable milestones and pre-defined timelines.

  • Building relationships

Expanding your professional network and building strong relationships is critical to excel in your career. Mentors and coaches can guide and support you in developing your communication and networking skills and connect you with others who can open doors to new opportunities.

  • Tackling workplace stress

Stress at work can occur due to several reasons, from office politics and heavy workloads to lack of skills and inefficiencies. A mentor can advise you on all these areas using their personal experiences. They could help you overcome stress-causing situations to achieve mental well-being and work-life balance.

  • Providing much-needed motivation

A lack of motivation or demotivation can often prevent you from achieving your career ambitions. But when you have a mentor to confide in, you can discuss and analyze the factors keeping you from taking critical action. Mentors will provide the necessary emotional support to stay motivated and keep moving ahead during challenging times.

To Recap

Coaches and mentors can add significant value to your career with the right level of support and guidance. They can help improve confidence, develop new skills, refine career goals, build stronger relationships, and tackle workplace stress. These professionals will also give you access to tools, advice, and emotional support to remain motivated and focused during tough times.

But which do you need, a coach or a mentor? The answer will depend on your career aspirations and needs. A coach will provide structured support to achieve specific skills and goals. At the same time, a mentor will offer general guidance for you to navigate the complex work environment and make better career decisions.

So, determine where you need support most. But, of course, there is nothing preventing you from seeking help from both a coach and mentor for professional growth.