Every successful person has had at least one mentor. No matter what industry you are in or what kind of career you are building, having a mentor will play a key role in your career success. They will be able to see your talent and ability and help you develop to your fullest potential. Use these tips when explaining who you want to mentor you, and why.
Explain Why You Chose That Person
Determine what kind of mentor you want, so you can explain why you chose that person. For instance, your mentor should be compatible with you and your career goals and working in a position you want to be. They also should have more knowledge and experience than you and be on a similar career path. Additionally, your mentor should challenge you when necessary and be supportive when needed. Further, they should help you in areas you struggle, and tell you why you are wrong at times. Plus, they need to be an excellent communicator and teacher who gives you tools to figure things out yourself.
Be Honest About Your Intentions
Begin by contacting the person through email to schedule an initial conversation. Ask for an hour of their time, so you can discuss your goals and what you are looking for, while leaving enough time to answer questions. Clearly describe what type of advice and guidance you are seeking and for what purpose. For instance, you may want help navigating department politics, applying for another role within the organization, or wanting to go back to school. Show you are willing to do the required work and be held accountable. Acknowledge that you respect the person’s time and appreciate their consideration of your request.
Conduct Your First Meeting
Decide what you want to do when first meeting with your mentor. For instance, establish a timeframe that works for both of you, including the frequency, length and format of each meeting. Outline what each meeting should address, so your mentor can prepare materials. Take detailed notes to think about and ask questions at your next meeting. Show you understand your mentor’s insight and guidance and how you apply it to your career. After each meeting, write down what was addressed and what needs to be discussed, so you are on the same page. Schedule your next meeting at a time convenient for both of you. Give your mentor a meaningful gift, such as a book they mentioned or a framed photo with symbolic meaning to express your appreciation.
Keep in Touch
Stay in touch with your mentor. Your relationship should not end just because your meetings will. For instance, ask how things are going for them. Share your experiences and career development. Continue giving back to them in meaningful ways. Enriching their life is a wonderful payback for all of the time they invested in you.
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