The Dangers of a “Toxic Mentor”

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When starting your career, finding a mentor who can help guide you and offer advice is important. But what happens when that mentor is more interested in harming your career than helping it? This person, sometimes referred to as a “toxic mentor,” can do more harm than good. Here’s what you need to know about this type of person and how to avoid them.

What is a Toxic Mentor?
A toxic mentor is someone who uses their position of power to take advantage of others. They might promise to help further your career in exchange for sexual favors or personal gain. They might try to sabotage your relationships with other people at work. Or they might give you bad advice that could harm your career. In short, a toxic mentor is someone you should avoid at all costs.

How to Identify a Toxic Mentor
Some warning signs can help you identify a toxic mentor before they have a chance to do any damage. First, pay attention to the way they speak about other people. If they’re constantly putting others down or gossiping about them, there’s a good chance they’ll do the same to you eventually. Second, consider how they treat people lower in the hierarchy than them. Do they show patience and respect? Or do they treat them like dirt? If it’s the latter, they won’t treat you any better. Finally, listen to your gut. If something feels off about the person, trust your instincts and steer clear.

Bottom Line: Beware of Toxic Mentors!
Mentors can be hugely helpful as you navigate your way through your career. But not all mentors have good intentions. Watch out for the warning signs of a toxic mentor, and don’t be afraid to walk away if something doesn’t feel right. Your career will thank you for it in the long run.