Importance of a mentor in life

These are often current or past managers, teachers, researchers, philosophers, etc… and they are typically senior to you. Either you meet on a specific project or maybe you’ve sought them out for their expertise in general. Not only do they interact positively with you, but they also go that extra step to help you succeed. For example, they may ask you about your career goals, if you’re enjoying your current role, and even offer information on what’s going on internally and what positions will be opening up. They may ask you thoughtful questions that reflect your strengths, or they may address possible concerns they may have regarding certain projects.

These are great times to be able to position yourself to talk openly about what you want and to address your own concerns. To foster this relationship further, you can:

  • Engage in the open dialogue honestly and professionally. For example, let them know if you’re interested in other projects or positions, and where you think your skills would be a good fit.
  • Ask for feedback on where they think you would succeed. Also inquire on how you can position yourself effectively, and which upcoming projects they think would best illustrate your talents.
  • Get an honest perspective on what the culture of the team or company is like.This is a great opportunity to get the inside scoop on divisions, management style, and how these aspects will affect you and your work.
  • Ask for an introduction for anyone whom this person sees you connecting with on a professional level.
  • Let them know you’re interested in the big picture, like what the mission of the company is and how they’re going about building a brand, and how you can help.
  • Be respectful of the other person’s time; be prepared with specific requests or questions and be focused during the meeting.
  • Certainly be gracious.
  • Follow up and let them know the outcome, and thank them again.
  • Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know how to proceed with a problem, be honest and open.
  • Pass it on; share your knowledge with others in need if asked.
Mentoring is giving back; it can be a rewarding experience that leaves you and the mentored feeling fulfilled.
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