Seeking Mentorship: How to be a Good Mentee
One of the many things people believe they require as a beginner in tech, is a mentor. However, it is important you know that a mentor is not a teacher.
When people send messages and emails asking to be mentored, I try to inquire three(3) things from them; What, Why and How. To be precise, I try to understand what they need from a mentor, why, and how they feel I would be of help as a mentor.
The main goal of mentoring is to tap into the experience, knowledge and skills of a senior(person with more experience) in your field. This means that before proceeding to finding a mentor, you should have reached a certain stage in your learning.
How to Prepare yourself for Mentorship
Even after learning the basics of your field, are you really ready for a mentor?
Many a times, even when people desire to be mentored, they end up not learning so much. I’ve seen many Mentor-Mentee relationships fail for different reasons including poor communication, unserious, lack of basic knowledge, poor planning, and many more. To prepare yourself to be a good mentee, here are things you should do:
1. Manage your time:
As a mentee, when a mentor gives you time from their schedule to help you develop your skills, it’s very important that you stay aware and prevent waste of it.
2. Develop a learning plan/path:
To keep track of your learning and stay in check to achieve your goals as a mentee, creating a learning plan is a very effective method. When you create your learning plan, it’s best to share with your mentor so you both can be on the same page.
3. Be responsible for your learning:
The greatest mistake you can make as a mentee, is to wait to be taught. You should be ready to learn actively while reporting your learning/practices to your mentor for review and feedback. It is also important that you actively ask questions, participate in conversations, and absorb as much knowledge as you can with your mentors, as it’s a great way to learn from them.
4. Be ready to drive the relationship:
To maintain a good relationship with your mentor, you should be able to push the Mentor-Mentee relationship. Set goals, review sessions and start conversations when you need to. However, to make sure your arrangements are comfortable for your mentor, you both should come to an agreement on how much time will be invested into learning.
5. Have realistic expectations:
You have to make sure that as you set goals and learning plans, they are realistic. You have to give your mentor space to themselves. It’s inappropriate to have too many and unrealistic expectations from them.
6. Provide value to the Mentor-Mentee relationship:
Because you more on the receiving ends of a mentorship, a great way to sustain your relationship with your mentor is by providing value. The learning never stops for anybody. Share with your mentor the articles or other kinds of resources that you find and think is valuable. You can also identify your mentor’s interests and be of help when you can.
7. Be open to receiving feedback/criticism:
Even if sometimes criticism can seem like attacks, it’s actually a great way to learn. You should always remember that your mentor has your best interest at heart, so you should try to learn from your mistakes that they help you point out.
8. Express appreciation as much as you can:
It’s very wholesome to see someone appreciate what you’ve helped them with. In mentorships, it’s very important to appreciate your mentor and give feedback on the impact they have made on any aspect of your life. Your feedback doesn’t only make them smile; It gives the drive to do more because they have seen you appreciate them for what they’re worth.
When a person chooses to invest their time and resources in you, you should be ready to be active and engaging. Although, you have to make sure it doesn’t not come off to your mentor as disturbing. Learning never stops and to get the best of your mentorship, you have to be prepared.
Are you in search of a mentor? Read here for tips on how to find a mentor in your field.