5 Ways To Connect With The Right Mentor For A Successful CareerMentoring Best Practices
Connecting with the right mentor plays a crucial role in your professional career. Mentoring is essential for large organizations, where there is a constant need for new leaders to take on challenging roles and responsibilities. In a 2006 Gartner Study at Sun Microsystems, it was reported that 72% of mentees who received mentoring programs were retained longer within an organization.
The same study also revealed that mentees who received mentoring programs were six times more likely to receive a promotion. Mentorship is valuable for young managers who reach out to mentors and the senior leaders in the organization who take up mentoring. It helps a mentee learn valuable career lessons, which contributes to overall career success and, for the mentor, an opportunity to develop essential leadership skills. Finding a good mentor who can align with your career aspirations can be a challenging task.
Here are five ways you can connect with the right mentor and have a fruitful mentor-mentee relationship.
- Reach out to your first circle of contacts
An excellent place to connect with the right mentor is to start looking at experts and seniors' managers from your networks. Your colleagues and managers can also help you establish connections with former employees or leaders within the organization who can be of great value in your mentor network. Once a list of potential mentors is made, the employee must take their time to research and evaluate them. Many times, if not direct managers, managers in parallel teams can serve as great mentors. They may have relevant industry experience, understand the organizational vision, and align employees’ growth to the image better.
- Network extensively at all events
Corporate events or corporate networking sessions are great places to meet potential mentors. Mentees must invest their time attending events that bring the best leadership from across the organization and step out of their comfort zone to connect with new people. It’s a great platform to identify potential mentors and ask essential and insightful questions.
- Learn from mentor’s experience
Most large organizations have a common portal that acts as an online networking platform for their employees. Mentees can find more information about leaders within the organization through these portals or professional networking tools like LinkedIn. One way to identify if someone is open to mentoring is to look at how they are advising or contributing to other’s projects. Active mentors will always have different teams consulting them for advice from time to time.
- Know your and mentor’s goal
Once a mentee has been able to get in touch with a potential mentor, it is vital for both the mentee and mentor to share their expectations from the relationship. A mentee should share their reason to reach out and the goals they wish to achieve through the mentorship. It helps establish a common ground and provides the mentor with the clarity of what experiences they can bring to the table to guide the mentee. It will also help the mentor to set their mentoring goals for their mentees realistically.
- Learn from different perspectives
It is in our nature to connect with someone who agrees with us, but this could be a wrong approach when you are finding a mentor. When connecting with mentors, mentees must be open to someone who may not have a similar personality or approach. A difference in perspective and approach to a problem can be a good learning experience for both the mentor and the mentee.
It is not required for the mentor to share the same viewpoint as the mentee all of the time. The sole aim of the mentor must be to push the mentee towards success and challenge them enough to keep them motivated. You must understand that mentoring is not a one-way communication from mentor to mentee.
Mentors must see their success and satisfaction in mentoring and commit their time and experience to the mentee’s goals. Mentees must also closely track projects or initiatives that mentors are pursuing to contribute to their success. A good mentee always looks for an opportunity to give back to the mentor in small ways.
If this post resonated with you, check with your organization to see whether you are part of the MentorCloud network. If not, sign up for a demo here! Our vision is to create a mentoring planet in which true equality is achieved, and hard work is rewarded, but it's only possible with your participation.