There are thousands of articles that stress the importance of mentorship and investing in others. We’ve even shared how mentorship works here at Credera. However, learning how to be a good mentee is just as important and can bring benefits at all stages of your career. Here are some of the practices I try to use to get the most out of my mentor-mentee relationships.
1. Respect Your Mentor’s Time
Time is a precious resource. Most mentors are successful because they carefully prioritize their time in order to be as productive as possible. By investing in you, your mentor is spending their valuable time to help you improve instead of spending time on another important project. Make sure you show them your gratitude!
2. You Can Have More Than One Mentor
Many companies make a point to assign new employees a single formal mentor. While this is a great start, a single mentorship is only one person’s perspective. Taking the time to identify and reach out to multiple people in your organization can help build a picture of different paths to success.
3. Mentor-Mentee Relationships Come in All Different Shapes and Sizes
Most new employees entering the workforce can see mentorship as a highly formal, rigid affair where an older worker gives their tips to another, newer recruit. In reality, there is no set way to establish a mentor-mentee relationship. Mentors can come from all ages, backgrounds, and levels in an organization, and mentors and mentees should focus on building their relationship in a way that reflects their collective personalities.
4. Find Mentors With Similar Work Experiences…
Finding a mentor who has succeeded in your current position or department is a valuable resource. They have already run into the issues you will soon encounter in your career and have developed practical, field-tested ways of overcoming those problems. Learning from them can help you avoid their mistakes.
5. …And Find Mentors With Very Different Experiences
It is tempting to stick to viewpoints and domains we already know. However, learning from those who have been successful in different fields can give you creative, new ideas to solve problems in your own area of expertise. You will also find that the work habits and mindsets of successful people transcend their position and background.
6. Connect With Your Mentor on a Personal Level
As I’ve mentioned before, mentorship is a relationship. When your mentor understands your desires and personality, they can give more personalized and meaningful information and advice. It’s easier to internalize information from someone who is a trusted friend and not just a fellow employee or supervisor.
7. Follow up on Materials Given by Your Mentor
If your mentor mentions a book they learned a lot from, buy and read it as soon as you can after the meeting. If they give a particular exercise that helped them improve their skills, make an effort to practice it. We tend to avoid extra work in our busy lives, but these resources will only help you grow. Your mentor’s success should be a testament to the material’s value.
8. Continue to Communicate With Your Mentor
Even if you and a mentor are no longer in an active mentor-mentee relationship, continue to keep the lines of communication open. They are invested in you and want to know how you are doing! The best gift you can give your mentor is showing them the positive impact they’ve had in your life and career.
Mentorship Can Grow Your Career
No successful person succeeds on their own. Learning how to be a good mentee will expose you to perspectives, knowledge, and relationships that will enrich your life and grow your career. Take it from me: I would not be the consultant and person I am today without the generous investment of time from my many mentors at Credera.
Want to learn more about what mentorship and a career at Credera would look like for you? Contact us using the form below!
Culture is something that is experienced in a variety of different ways. We’re sharing the many ways Crederians experience our culture in a series called My Credera. The heart behind this series is for our company, employees, clients, and friends to have an inside look at the Credera culture by reading about our employees’ “My Credera” moments. In this series, we are talking about our core values, personal and professional growth, mentorship, community involvement, favorite Credera memories, life after college, and what it looks like to create a career at Credera.
At Credera, we love to celebrate every achievement, milestone, and moments of growth. We are excited to open up and invite you in to experience those celebrations with us. If you’d like to learn more about joining the Credera family, we invite you to visit our careers page.