How to Be a Fantastic Mentee to Your Mentor
If you’ve found a mentor, congratulations! Research shows that having a mentor can quite literally make your career (and the benefits flow both ways; studies have also proven that the mentor benefits from the relationship, too.).
However, the work doesn’t end once you’ve settled on a structure and schedule for your conversations. Successful mentorships take work. Read on to discover how you can be the best protégé possible.
1. Come with (Specific) Questions
Your mentor is eager to help; that’s why they signed up for this role in the first place. But if you don’t give them any idea of where you need guidance, they’ll quickly become frustrated.
Case in point: Last week, we received an email from someone hoping to get some freelance writing advice. We asked her what she’d like to know. Her response was, “Basically, what do I do?”
Of course, we couldn’t give her any tips without more information.
You don’t want to do this with your mentor. If you show up with specific questions or issues, they’ll have a much easier time.
2. Discuss Your Results
Once you’ve followed through on your mentor’s suggestions, don’t move on to the next topic without briefing them on the results. These updates will do a couple things.
First, they’ll show your mentor you’re not just smiling and nodding—you’re actually listening. If they believe they’re actually adding value to your life, they’ll be far more motivated to continue meeting with you and giving you their insights.
Second, filling in your mentor gives you an opportunity to reflect. Imagine they advised you to spend some time with a different team. When you tell your mentor how it went, you’ll simultaneously be processing the experience yourself.
3. Be Gracious
Your mentor is being extraordinarily gracious. After all, they’re too busy to accomplish everything they’d like to—but they’re still setting aside time each week or month to help you.
With that in mind, make sure you’re consistently showing your appreciation. Send your mentor a handwritten thank you card, look for resources they could potentially benefit from, sing their praises to other people, and above all, look for ways to make their life easier.
To give you an idea, let’s say your mentor’s company was expanding to a new state. You could set them up with some of your connections in that state—they don’t have to be executive-status people to suggest local restaurants or attractions that your mentor might enjoy!
By constantly striving to give back, you’ll make it clear how much you value the relationship.
About Signature Consultants, LLC
Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Signature Consultants was established in 1997 with a singular focus: to provide clients and consultants with superior staffing solutions. For the seventh consecutive year, Signature was voted as one of the “Best Staffing Firms to Work For” and is now the 14th largest IT staffing firm in the United States (source: Staffing Industry Analysts). With 26 locations throughout North America, Signature annually deploys thousands of consultants to support, run, and manage their clients’ technology needs. Signature offers IT staffing, consulting, managed solutions, and direct placement services. For more information on the company, please visit www.sigconsult.com.