3 tips for making the most of mentorship

Georgia Pascoe
Georgia Pascoe
  • Updated

Great mentors can have an invaluable impact on your success. Mentors can teach you about what is important (both personally and professionally); and also provide meaningful opportunities for growth.

As seen originally on Forbes, here are the top three tips from a real-life mentoring story to help you find success:

Don’t be afraid to seek out mentorship

One crucial piece of advice for young professionals is to actively seek out a mentor. Mentors typically do not seek out mentees; instead, they look for individuals who show initiative and determination. While finding the right mentor-mentee match can take time and effort, the benefits are well worth the investment.

When beginning the search for a mentor to advise and support career progression, it can be challenging to know where to start. Even with a large number of LinkedIn connections, many may be former college classmates who are at a similar stage in their careers. If a natural fit is not apparent within one's current network, it is advisable to research companies that are admired and to reach out to professionals whose career paths align with desired goals. Surprisingly, many cold calls and emails requesting advice receive positive responses, highlighting the willingness of experienced professionals to offer guidance.

Learn to recognize the accelerators in your life

Securing work experience or an internship right out of education can be a pivotal step in a young professional's career. It can provide a valuable learning experience, even if the initial role seems insignificant. Meanwhile, demonstrating a strong work ethic and dedication, even in menial tasks, can catch the attention of influential individuals within the organization.

Such dedication can lead to significant opportunities. Recognizing and seizing these opportunities can be transformative. Building and strengthening your network can also be a major career accelerator. One step further, engaging in a mentoring relationship with someone more experienced than you can introduce you to a wide range of skills and development opportunities, significantly impacting your career trajectory. The influence of such a mentor can be profound and long-lasting, underscoring the importance of gratitude and acknowledgment for their support.

Remember that mentorship is a two-way street

The mentor-mentee relationship is a two-way street—since mentors are dedicating their time and energy to their mentee's future, the mentee in return must strive to deliver tremendous value to their mentors. This can be more practical like accommodating the mentor's schedule to ensure time for meetings, but also can be demonstrated in effort, such as taking on more tasks that are outside of your comfort zone, proactively taking steps towards your goals and keeping track of progress. 

Not only is it important to demonstrate such commitment in your mentoring relationships in the run up to achieving a goal, but also to maintain that level of dedication throughout your career. This will help differentiate yourself from others, access support and endorsement more easily from more senior colleagues and strengthen the mentor-mentee bond. 

 

Mentorship is one of the most effective paths to career success. The benefits gained from a strong mentor relationship can surpass those from grad school, natural talent, and even luck. The key is to have the foresight and humility to seek mentorship. By doing so, individuals can find numerous accelerators who can add value to their careers. More importantly, by proactively adding value to their mentors, individuals can ensure they get the most out of the mentor relationship, paving the way for personal and professional success.

 

 

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