We always need somebody by our side: a person who supports, helps, and pushes us. In everyday life we call this person a friend—but what do we call them at work or school?
How about a mentor? We already discussed that a mentor is an experienced, trusted, and knowledgeable individual who helps you to achieve your personal or professional goals by guiding, advising, supporting, encouraging, and motivating you. Good mentors don’t just tell you what to do in different situations; they teach you how to solve problems and help you to make informed decisions independently.
Having a good mentor throughout any life transition is important. It definitely increases the probability of reaching your goal, but it’s not enough. We cannot get results simply by having a good lever; we need to apply some force to it. So the result depends not only on the mentor, but also on the mentee.
It is difficult to overestimate the importance of being a good mentee. How, then, can you be a good one?
- Be proactive.
Don’t wait for your mentor to reach out to you. Do it first. Sometimes it can seem that a person is indifferent when they don’t show initiative, so ask, text, or arrange a call. Showing that you are an active participant in the mentor relationship will make your mentor work with you even more.
- Be tolerant.
On the other hand, being too proactive can be overwhelming. It’s important to know the balance. If you reach out to your mentor every day, you can wear each other out with endless calls about anything and everything. Being proactive means not keeping silent or waiting until your mentor reaches out to you. Being tolerant means understanding and respecting the norms of your mentor relationship. You can always discuss in advance how frequently you expect to communicate with your mentor. It’s always better to talk it out than it is to overthink things.
- Don’t shift your responsibility.
When we fail, we tend to blame others for our mistakes. That’s a common mechanism to protect ourselves, but it’s not a good action to perform. It’s important to realize what responsibility each of you has—in success or failure. Don’t overestimate a mentor's impact or underestimate your contribution to the result. If you feel that you could have done something more, it might mean that the mentor is not entirely to blame.
- Ask questions and write down the answers.
This doesn’t mean that you literally need to write down each word you hear while working with a mentor, but you should definitely listen to your mentor’s advice with a certain involvement and attentiveness. Usually mentors are people with more expertise and experience in the sphere than you have; after all, that is why they are mentors. It’s important to accept their knowledge and recommendations and try to follow, learn, and implement them.
- Don’t lose an opportunity.
It often happens that a mentor motivates a mentee, but it turns out not to be enough and the mentee gives up. This can be either the mentor's or the mentee’s fault. It’s similar to when a person goes to the psychologist thinking that they will be treated for all their problems in the first session. So, don’t lose that moment when you start having such thoughts before sessions with your mentor.
Mentoring At Careerist
At Careerist, we appreciate that learning new skills can be hard and tiring for some students. We also know that looking for a job in a field that you know very little about can be challenging, exhausting, and sometimes distressing.
We understand that our students need continuous support and motivation, both during and after completing their courses, which is why we have a solid mentoring plan built into our coursework. Join us to learn more and to become a good mentee!