Building a relationship with your professional mentor is crucial since it can open up several chances for you in your personal and professional life. During your career, you can form a relationship with a mentor that you can rely on in the future for career advice and direction.
Some mentors develop into lifetime friends, provide professional references, or even partner in the company. You have the chance to get a key ally who knows how to direct your future success in your area if you devote time and effort to getting to know your mentor.
According to the findings, having a mentor helps people perform better, rise professionally more quickly, and even like their jobs more. As per a study, 76% of working professionals believe that having a mentor is crucial to their professional development, compared to 54% who do not have one. If you fall into this category, there are a few things you can do to find a mentor and establish a strong relationship: set explicit objectives and requirements; advertise a "ideal mentor description"; comb through your second-degree network for a suitable mentor; pitch your request (and keep it simple); have the first meeting; create a mentorship agreement; and follow up to express gratitude over the long term.
A mentee's role is active and engaging. You are responsible for setting your own goals, developing a relationship with your mentor, asking for advice, going to meetings and activities you are invited to, and other things when you have a mentor. Andrew Rubin, co-founder & CEO of Illumio says, "The more you know yourself, what you are good at, what you are not, the more value you and your mentors will get out of the relationship. Then make time to invest in those relationships."
It can be awkward to ask someone to be your mentor for the first time, twice or even three times. You probably haven't ever been asked to mentor someone else or been taught how to ask for mentoring yourself. Accept the uncomfortable sensation and show vulnerability. There is no harm in asking, but proceed cautiously.
According to Forbes, "Experienced perspectives are invaluable for young careers and companies." Mark Schulze, co-founder of Clover & VP of Business Development at First Data says, "When I first started my career, I discounted the importance of experience. A strong mentor has the experience to help a startup avoid the pitfalls and identify possible paths to success. Often entrepreneurs feel like there isn't time, but the time and trouble you can save by working with a good mentor is invaluable."
You want to accomplish two things for your initial discussion with your potential mentor. You must first decide if this person is your best mentor and ask them if they would be interested in mentoring you after that.Every entrepreneur has unique advantages and disadvantages. And while mentors can undoubtedly aid in enhancing abilities, it's typically much more beneficial to have someone who can offer guidance in areas where you're having difficulty.
BIG Labs' founder and CEO, Jyoti Bansal, states "In particular, it's important for a mentor to supplement the strengths that the entrepreneur brings to the table. An entrepreneur should always select a mentor that fills the gaps in his/her experience and skill set."
One crucial concept to grasp about mentoring is that the mentor cannot lead your life on your behalf, and they are not there to make decisions for you but to offer counsel, a different point of view, and get you to think differently. According to Marten Mickos, CEO of HackerOne, “The role of the mentor is to make you reflect, not to give you advice or answers. Helping you ask the right questions--that’s real mentorship.”
After a brief exchange or two, try making a more formal request: Would you be willing to meet with me once a month for the next six months until we reach our objective or resolve our issue? If yes, think about writing a brief, one-page paper stating your goals for the next six months of working together.
People frequently believe that the mentor bears the "weight" of mentoring. However, mentees can also be in charge of fostering the mentoring relationship. Tyler Perry, partner at Bateman Group says, "When I look at those that I have mentored and those that are getting a lot out of the program have some clear similarities:
Principal at Scale Venture Partners, Susan Liu, states, “At Scale Venture Partners, half of our investing partners are women, and all of the men are naturalised citizens. Having such a diverse set of mentors has helped me realise that there isn’t a cookie-cutter for success in VC or any industry for that matter. This gives me confidence in my own career path and has helped shape the way I think about investing and entrepreneurship.” Even while it's typical to view one person as your primary mentor, you can still look for different viewpoints in more informal settings.
After each meeting, you should unquestionably send a thank-you note. In an article, Mark Horoszowski, the co-founder and CEO of MovingWorlds.org, discusses a mentorship relationship that ended two years ago and how the mentee's email to Mark a few years later "made the week" for Mark. As a result, they both made some new connections that benefited their careers.
Whatever your line of profession, having someone more knowledgeable to mentor you, hold you responsible for your objectives, and assist you in overcoming hurdles is vital. Authors Chip and Dan Heath sum up mentoring in two simple phrases in their best-selling book The Power of Moments, “I have high expectations for you, and I know you can meet them. So try this new challenge, and if you fail, I’ll help you recover.”