Maybe you just started out in your career. Or maybe you recently changed job paths. Possibly, you're just looking for something new. You know that you need advice so you do the smart thing and get a mentor. And now you have a great mentor but what does that really mean? What is your relationship suppose to look like? How are you expected to act? It can be awkward and tedious to ask your new mentor about the social protocols. Plus, you never want to offend them.
Luckily for you, you have found Janice Omadeke, founder & CEO of The Mentor Method. Today, she is giving us a small snippet of her mentee toolkit to show you three things you should never do with a mentor. Janice has learned these through real life experience and years in the mentor business, so you know the advice is 100% authentic. These three things can transform the type of mentee you are and therefore what you get from your experience with your mentor.
1. Wait for the mentor to work for you, not with you. Your mentor is not your summer intern. They’re busy with their own lives, and are volunteering their time to help you. Take the initiative to make the relationship as easy as possible for your mentor. Send an agenda two days in advance of meeting with them, have an outline for what you’d like the relationship to look like, have clear goals, and do the work first. From there, your mentor should be available to provide real feedback on your lists and help you pinpoint where to begin from there.
2. Forgetting to say “Thank you”. Don’t underestimate the power of a short thank you note. Even a quick email letting your mentor know that their advice helped you reach a milestone can go a long way and motivate that mentor to continue to help you.
3. Not having clear goals. Your mentor is not a mind reader, or a fair godmother/godfather that will solve all of your career problems. Help your mentor help you by taking time to create realistic and clear goals of what you’d like to accomplish. Include the outcomes, timeframe, and how you think you can achieve those goals for their input and feedback. For example a goal that needs work is “I want a raise and a new job”. To make it better and worth your mentor’s time, the goal could be “I want a 5% raise and a job in a DC-based marketing firm that’s metro accessible and will allow me to improve my social media skills.”
With these three simple steps, you will become a picture perfect mentee. And please use the word perfect lightly, making mistakes is part of learning. Your mentor knows that you are trying, as long as you show it. So go out there, get a mentor, and start practicing how to become the best mentee you can be by applying these steps to your mentor/mentee relationship.
To learn more, become a member of The Mentor Method. Sign up and find the person who will help you advance your career. In addition, find a forum and tools like this to help you adjust to your new professional world.