Make Mentoring Work for You!

It’s time to hit the ground running, create your power year, and make mentoring work for you. Since there is power in numbers, there’s no reason to go it alone. If your goals include learning a new skill, moving up in the company, or exploring a new industry, then consider mentorship as your next move.

Studies show that having a seasoned professional to turn to for advice and guidance is invaluable to your career growth. In its survey of nearly 1000 professional women in the US, LinkedIn found that 83% agreed a mentor was important.

Types of Mentor Relationships

Mentor relationships are more diverse than one-on-one. If you want to make the most out of any mentorship, then knowing what kind of relationship you need is the perfect place to start.

Group/Team mentoring is when multiple mentees work toward a similar professional goal guided by one or more mentors at the same time. The group empowers and supports each other’s progress while sharing stories that solidify a community.

Transition mentoring is a space to help one or more mentees transition to a new setting which could be relocation, entering a new field, or adapting to a new process.

Reverse mentoring is when an older individual learns from a younger one. It is becoming more popular in the workplace, especially with today’s rapid-fire technological advances. If you’re a seasoned executive who feels out of touch when it comes to the latest social media platforms, for example, enlist the help of younger, more tech-savvy professionals. It’s never too late to learn!

Peer mentoring involves mentees learning together. It promotes team building and problem-solving, plus is an opportunity for new perspectives. Sometimes peer mentoring can boost DEI initiatives.

Despite the relationship you choose, getting the most out of your mentorship takes some work. Here are a few tips to maximize your career path:

Getting Started With Goals

What are your professional needs and ultimate goals? Choosing SMART goals that set up actionable steps for you will kickstart the mentorship in the right direction. You can also choose the right mentor who is better suited to guiding and aiding you to success. For instance, if your goal is to expand your network to increase your client base, then you will need a mentor who excels at networking.

We are All Learning

While your mentor is an experienced individual, that does not mean they are an experienced mentor. Everyone learns differently and needs various types of guidance. Be patient with each other and continue to communicate your needs throughout the mentorship. The better your mentor and you develop the relationship, the more mentoring works for you.

Be a Model Mentee

An effective mentor/mentee relationship is a joint effort. It takes effort, communication, and commitment on both sides to make a successful collaboration. Be especially respectful of your mentor’s schedule. Show up for meetings at the designated times (no last-minute canceling), be prepared with substantial topics you want to discuss, and do your “homework,” if required!  Find more tips on how to be the best mentee here.

Bring in Outside Resources

Both mentees and mentors can bring in outside resources to enrich the mentorship. Share your favorite books or podcasts during your meetings. It will reinforce skill development and creates never-ending discussions. Plus, it is an opportunity to bond with your mentor over shared interests.

67% of women in the LinkedIn survey said they were not a mentor because no one asked them. Let’s change that statistic and find your mentor relationship opportunity by joining IAW‘s mentor program today! 

  1. Regina Dean Reed

    I really like the idea of reverse mentoring, younger workers helping older workers. Most younger workers are really good at social media there is so much to learn from them. Great article!!!

  2. Linda Lee Whitlock

    I believe in mentoring and agree that younger workers are usually more tech savvy than older workers. I need a mentor that can advise me on problems related to doing things online that I cannot seem to figure out on my own.
    My mentor at present does not help me in that field. She was appointed to me by someone else, so choose wisely to replace a mentor that cannot help

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