Reaching out and building a relationship with a mentor can be a career improving step that you should consider taking.
Wisdom is often gained from experiences and by communicating with a mentor you have the opportunity to leverage their knowledge. They can provide you with insight on how to deal with the challenges of working life as well as ideas on how to make the most of your education and work experiences. Mentors share their own experiences and expertise in how they solve problems that arise, which can really serve as invaluable insight.
Make the Most of Your Mentorship
There are many ways in which your mentorship experience can be created and experienced. But there are basic fundamentals to how you can go about finding and leveraging such an opportunity.
Identify what you want from having a mentor. This might include career advice, skills needed for a role, preparation for a certification exam, or areas that you might need to improve.
Find out if there is a mentorship program or opportunity in your school, academy, company, or region. Within your own organization, think about who you know who might make a good mentor.
Reach out proactively to your mentor once you have a mentor. Talk about yourself, what you want out of your mentor, and how often you’d like to meet. Be articulate with your request. And be sure to ask them questions about their career.
Schedule recurring meetings with your mentor, if possible. Create an agenda and send it to your mentor so they are prepared to talk about your topics of interest.
Share your ideas so they understand your thought process. Do not expect them to do everything for you, you have to put in the extra work—they are there as a resource.
Drive and maintain the relationship. The time your mentor provides to you is valuable, so it is wise to be appreciative both verbally and through your behavior (showing up on time, being understanding of their time constraints, etc.)
Find your mentor and develop your bridge to work life experiences. Use it as a tool to excel in your career but remember to be mindful and respectful of your mentor.
NetAcad Advantage Reading Note: You can learn more about how to make the most of your experience by watching our Career Advantage Webinar on Mentoring. We can be inspired by many people in our lives and there are many lessons to be learned as you continue on your journey.