The social and economic changes that have been taken place over recent years have created new data on people's working lives (Tsitmideli et al., 2016). The rapid development of new information, technologies, communication and also demographic changes because of globalization, has put employees ahead of new challenges (Skordoulis et al., 2017). Because of these changes, the existing perception of career development has also been affected and now is characterized as a continuous process which is developed throughout an individual's life (Zapantis et al., 2017). It is therefore necessary in many cases for new employees to receive mentoring in order to successfully cope with new challenges through career development. Essentially, mentoring is a sustained relationship with a purpose for learning and growth. From the above, but also from the literature review, it is clear that mentoring and career development are two variables that are functionally related. Furthermore, mentoring is defined as an independent variable and career development of employees as a dependent variable. The variables that were mentioned before are referring in the literature review as the most crucial and important that are related to career development. The purpose of the study is to examine the contribution of mentoring on employee's career development and especially those who work with a non-dependent work relation in LR Health & Beauty Systems in Greece. In this research it was also necessary to investigate the contribution of employees' career development to mentor's characteristics and functions and the contribution between employees' career development with non-dependent work relation. In order to achieve the purpose of this study, an overview of the relevant literature was carried out and then the results of the survey were compared with these theoretical approaches.
For several years great effort has been devoted to the study of mentoring and career development. Mentoring as a term was founded in 1970 and since it is still popular in the field of business administration. From a business perspective, it was appeared essentially as a phenomenon and then it was applied to many other fields such as medicine, education, legal and social work (Fowler, 1998; Lankau & Scandura, 2002; Linney, 1999). Several authors have attempted to define mentoring. The following definitions below will be very useful in order to understand its importance: Mentoring denotes a strong interpersonal relationship between an experienced senior business executive and a new and less experienced business executive. Through this relationship, mentor provides support, advice, proper guidance and feedback on the career and personal development (Payne & Huffman, 2005). More specifically, mentoring is essentially an auxiliary link, wherein the most skilled person is called mentor, who guides and supports the professional development of another person, who is called mentee (Barton, 2001). Summarizing all the above definitions, mentoring can positively influence both mentor and mentee and it's a strong caring relationship with a view to personal and professional development both for mentor and mentee (Caffarella, 1992). Also, mentoring has been argued by many researchers that are the most effective way to transfer skills and knowledge to people who starting up their cooperation with an organization, from people who can inspire confidence (Abiddin, 2012). According to the above, the relationship between mentor and mentee can lead to positive results, not only for a contacting party, but also for the organization in which the procedure take place (Burke, 1984; Kram, 1985; Ragins & McFarlin, 1990; Betts & Pepe, 2006). The benefits for a company which implements mentoring programs are plenty, such as increasing employee productivity, job satisfaction and organizational commitment, reduce of professional burnout, improving the workplace environment, maintaining high quality service to the customer and thus improving the efficiency of a company.
Mentor's functions can be divided into two categories: Functions that are related to career and those which are related to the psychosocial situation of the mentee (Bernard, 1996; McDonald, 2003). Mentor can actually achieve this goal through teaching, counseling, providing psychological support and sometimes offering support and sponsorship. He can support everything or nothing of the above functions during a mentoring relationship (Zey, 1984). According with mentoring process, mentor and mentee cooperate to achieve goals, which are personal from mentee's aspect. Based on this approach, the traditional model isn't applied and mentor acts as the one who is setting goals and designing the learning program (McDonald, 2003). Mentor's action depends on the organization and the role he wants to play in it. Mentee can better understand the goals, policies and strategy of the organization (Chao, 1997). Mentor's main benefit from a counseling relationship is the satisfying feeling of helping someone else. In this way, mentor shares his knowledge and experience to improve mentee's career development (Clark, 1995; Scandura, 1999; McDonald, 2003). Furthermore, a mentor should also be flexible and willing to accept any decision that can take his protege (McIntyre, 1993). Mentee is based on his present knowledge and experiences and with mentor's encouraging he discovers new knowledge in order to fulfill common objectives. In this way, learning process is flexible and dynamic, while it's possible to adapt goals into specific data (Linney, 1999; McDonald, 2003). The most important role of a mentor is to provide guidance and giving advices (Wilkin, 1992). In that way, mentees can examine and identify the advantages and their possibilities for further career development (Mountford, 1993).
Multiple different definitions and very different dimensions were given for career development. According to Greenhaus (1987), career development is an ongoing process by which individual's progress through a series of stages, each of which is characterized by a relatively unique set of issues, themes and tasks. Kantas & Chantzi (1991) proposed another definition, in which career development is described as the evolutionary course of a person, regarding his orientation in the workplace and the decisions he takes for his career. Career development is a course of life and refers to the dialectical relationship between an individual and his work which is developed throughout his life (Kedraka, 2004). For every single person, career development includes a wide range of activities that are related to career planning and decision making, while for businesses it's an integral part of the effective Human Resource...