Whether you’re pursuing entrepreneurship, making your grand entrance into the business world, or looking to make a career change – finding a mentor is your winning ticket.
I’m not saying you’re going to win the lottery, but finding a mentor, I’m talking strategic and thoughtful mentoring, can be absolutely life-changing, I know it was for me.
I wish I would’ve known then how to make the most of my time with past mentors. But now, being a mentor myself, here are five steps for you and how you can make the most of your mentorship.
1. Make Room In Your Calendar Busy Bee
Your job as a ‘mentee’ is to make room in your busy calendar for mentoring sessions. Why? Because your mentorship could be the single most valuable thing you can do for your career and your life – make the time. Most mentors live very busy lives, so if they can set aside time to have a meeting with you once a month, surely you can find the time as well.
2. Be Open To The Feedback
The point of having a mentor is to gain a new/experienced perspective on your career. The mentor’s role is to give you input, but if you aren’t open to receiving their insight, there’s no point. Sure, I’ve been told things that weren’t exactly easy to hear, but hearing those things, letting them sink in, has made all the difference.
3. Find The Right People
I’ve noticed a common misconception among mentees, and that is you need to find one mentor who can advise you on every single aspect of your career, but the truth is you may need more than one. Take a hard look at the problem you want a mentor to help you solve, or at your so desired professional growth area. Is it a career change you’re pondering? A promotion perhaps? Trying to better adapt to the new company culture? The most experienced mentor might be a man or a woman, outside of your company or industry, younger, maybe older. The mentor you choose should be the person or people who can best help you answer your pressing questions.. But in order to find the right people, you need to KNOW and be asking the right questions.
4. Be Crystal Clear About What You Want
Please, please, do not just ask someone, “hey, will you be my mentor?” As we just discussed, know your questions, be precise about the problem you need help with, as well as what you want to receive out of a mentorship.
For example, you might ask someone to meet with you for an hour each month to help improve your presentation skills, or maybe you’ll ask to have coffee once a month to help you do adequate research for a career change. Mentors who know what the expectation is can be realistic about their ability to help, which will benefit both of you.
5. Make Every Single Minute of Every Single Meeting Count
If you’re asking someone to give up their limited free time, please be sure to use it wisely. Arrive to every conversation prepared with objectives and a list of questions you’d like to cover. You might even share these in advance with your mentor, so they have time to prepare. More importantly, make sure you follow up on the advice your mentor took the time to give you – that is after all the point!
Mentorships are truly equally rewarding for both mentees and mentors. This is exactly why I started KenFLIX, because I’m passionate about teaching and helping all of you reach the substantial amount of success I know you were meant for!