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Sep 13, 2014 07:58 AM EDT

People Who Have Had Mentors at a Young Age have a Better Career, Study

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Young people, who receive good guidance from their mentors, are more likely to find an early employment, according to a North Carolina State University study.

The researchers said that early job makes these individuals more responsible and independent, thus, driving them to financially and personally rewarding careers.

"We wanted to look at the long-term impacts on mentees in naturally occurring mentorship relationships, rather than participants in formal mentorship programs," said Dr. Steve McDonald, an associate professor of sociology at NC State and lead author of a paper on the work, in a statement. "And we found that having a mentor provides a clear benefit well into their working lives."

For the study, the researchers analysed data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health The Survey asked more than 12,000 teens and those in early 20s if they had a mentor in their life. These participants were again surveyed after six years about their work to determine their performance in the job market.

McDonald said that participants from socioeconomically advantaged backgrounds are more likely to have mentors and receive greater 'intrinsic' job rewards. Intrinsic job rewards include authority and autonomy, which renders a more personally fulfilling feeling to your work.

"The findings imply that mentees learn to place a higher value on jobs with more intrinsic rewards - and those same characteristics are associated with long-term career success," McDonald said.

The study titled, "The Long Arm of Mentoring: A Counterfactual Analysis of Natural Youth Mentoring and Employment Outcomes in Early Careers," is published in the American Journal of Community Psychology.

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