You've heard it again and again, everyone needs a mentor in their career if not several.
But what exactly makes a great mentorship? How can you find a mentor? and what can you do as a mentee?
What is a mentor?
A person who provides you with tools, guidance, support, and feedback wherever you need it.
Who can be your mentor?
A friend, a friend of a friend, a family member, a school buddy, a co-worker or peer, a current of a former boss, someone you got to know on a meetup, networking event, conference, etc.
My top 3 reasons why you should have a mentor:
♦ They can provide you with insights, context, and experiences that either you may not necessarily have or you have limited access to.
♦ They can help you get unstuck.
♦ They can help you build your professional networking.
What are the qualities of a good mentor?
1.Relevant background and experience
Tip1: You don't want someone very ahead from you in their career, 4-5 years are enough, that way the mentor will get you easier and she'll also be more relevant on "how new things work".
Tip2: Having some common interests will make your relationship even better.
2.Enthusiasm to share.
Your mentors have to be willing to share their knowledge, but don't brag about it or expect something in return. The best mentors don't speak because they want to listen to themselves but because they genuinely want you to succeed.
3.Has respectful manners
A mentor doesn't criticize you or judge your actions. And even if sometimes she acts unprofessionally, remember that we are all humans, and from time to time we have to deal with personal things.
4.Invests in you
More importantly, a mentor invests her time in you. Mentoring is a long action, it doesn't end overnight, thus a mentor doesn't expect immediate gains or success.
5.Shows you some taught love.
The mentor should have the ability to give honest and direct feedback even when things don't work as planned. You need feedback, don't be afraid of it. You also need direct feedback (so preferably no phone calls or emails), the world is hard and unfair, you shouldn't expect easy things.
6. Has empathy
The mentor should actually not only have empathy but also she should listen to you. The mentor should guide you, ask questions, listen to your answers. The mentor shouldn't give straight ahead an answer or a solution, you two together will work and find the best route for your dreams. You want your mentor to be curious about you and your activities.
7. Opening doors for you.
Not all mentors are in a position to do so, but if possible finding a mentor with credibility and a good social network can help in opening some doors.
How to know you found the one?
Ask yourself these questions:
- ♦ Does she have real experience working in the same field as you?
- ♦ Does she invest in and enjoy being a part of others’ success?
- ♦ Is she good at giving and receiving feedback?
- ♦ Is she humble, down-to-earth and respectful towards others?
- ♦ Does she want to grow and develop herself?
- ♦ Does she see the value in investing in growth and development in general?
- ♦ Does she respect and like people inside and outside of the office?
- ♦ Is she likable by others?
- ♦ Does she have a mentor of her own?
For more details, please watch the video.
Remember a mentor is here not to solve your problems but to guide you.
I hope you find this short article helpful. Best of luck in finding a great mentor or being a great mentor by yourself.