Are Peers More Influential Than Mentors?

Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, CWCA President and Master Trainer

Have you been considering finding someone to mentor you, but you can’t decide whether to choose a peer or a seasoned mentor? These are both great ways to further the growth in your role, and each have their own place in your development. We’re going to look at a few ways that peer mentors and seasoned mentorships can benefit you in the year to come!

The Case for Peer Mentors

In recent years, the discussion has been trending towards using peers – people around your same level in the same industry – to grow your professional development. While the debate still rages whether peers are better mentors than seasoned professionals, there are clear and defined benefits to learning from a peer. 

Growth Hacks

Your peers, just like you, are probably trying a bunch of different growth hacks, methods, and so on, to see what will work in their role. Consider this as a lab of growth hacks – you and your peers together are simultaneously running tens of experiments at any moment. If you communicate often enough, you can adopt the latest growth hacks and ideas that just worked for your peers. It is so much easier to learn something from a direct experience than from a book. This constant experimentation and exchange of knowledge create an efficient innovation machine.

Unique Perspectives

Everyone who has worked in a particular role and aimed for promotion knows that there is no one-size-fits-all for immediate promotion. You need to have constant feedback on your efforts that fuel constant iterations. A mentor that is separated from the industry will not be able to spot caveats as well as a network of peers would do. 

Execution Boost

Often the advice you need is “just go and start doing it”, but it’s not always that easy, is it? Sometimes we need a little help from our friends in the industry – our peers. It’s motivating to see how hard others work. Sometimes peer pressure will give a solid boost to your current efforts.

Phycological Support

Peers are people just like you, in the same situation as you. Some physiological aspects of humans make our tough moments less tough when you know you are not the only one suffering. In tough moments you can relate to your peers much more than to say, a mentor. Even though you may not be in the same organization with your peers, you feel you are one big team in some sense.

Seasoned with Success

While peer mentors (in the form of one-on-one or in a networking group) are fantastic and a vital ingredient to your growth, so are the seasoned professionals who have been in your shoes and have experienced the view from the top. 

As an Executive Assistant, there are so many levels to get to the top role – for instance, you don’t start as an Executive Assistant. Maybe you are at the first level now, dreaming of the day that you are the right hand to a powerful CEO. Do you have a business in mind? Is there a city, industry, or specific Executive that you are reaching for? Knowing your goals will help you to target the best mentor, and one that is a perfect fit for your growth and success. 

Both Peer Mentorships and Seasoned Mentorships have advantages, as you have read – but what happens when you combine them both together? Memberships in communities like our ACE Virtual Peer Networking group provide the experience from successful professionals and a network of your peers, bringing you a powerful influx of information based on success and developing strategies. We can’t think of a better recipe for success. 

Want to know more about an ACE membership and how it can benefit you? Check out our website or give us a call!

Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, CWCA President and Master Trainer