Whether you’re already on the job, or you’re in the
middle of an intense job search, mentorship can be a valuable tool. But how can
you maximize the benefits of a mentor? Below are a few tips:
- Have a clear purpose in mind when you take on a
mentor. What do you want to get out of the relationship? Your answer should serve as a guide when
choosing your mentor and when relating to him/her during the mentor
- Communicate your goals and expectations with
the mentor. Let the mentor know
what goals you have and what you hope to gain firm the relationship. But
Remember, this is a two-way street. Your mentor will also have
expectations and goals. It’s
important that you find out what the mentor expects from you and work your
hardest to meet those expectations.
- Build and maintain trust. Your relationship
with your mentor won’t last if there isn’t a foundation of trust. Build
this trust by following through on your promises, meeting your goals,
listening to their advice and respecting their time. Cancelling meetings and failing to do
your part to fulfill your responsibilities in the relationship will
- Express your gratitude and selflessness through
reciprocity. Identify skills and experience you have that your mentor
lacks. Take the initiative to offer
your mentor your time and expertise.
- Respect your mentor’s time. Avoid taking up too much of your
mentor’s time and energy, especially in the beginning of the
relationship. Mentoring is a lot of
work; don’t overwhelm anyone willing to give of their time in this way.
Keep your meetings brief and on topic.