You found a mentor…what’s the next step? How to start the first meeting? How to build a great relationship with your mentor? Once you learn the answers, you’ll see that this adventure called ‘mentoring’ is worth all your efforts.
Let’s make sure you get the most out of this experience!
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
To make your goals SMART, you need to ask yourself a few questions.
S – specific: What needs to be accomplished? Who’s responsible for it? What needs to be done in order to achieve the goal?
M – measurable: Is there a way to measure the goal? How do you know you achieved it?
A – attainable: Do you have the resources to achieve the goal? Is the goal truly attainable?
R – relevant: Why are you setting the goal that you’re setting? Is this a worthwhile goal?
T – time-bound: What is the deadline for reaching the goal? When do you start/finish?
If you answer all these questions, you will be well-prepared for your meeting and discussion with a mentor.
If you find the advice of your mentor useful, apply what you’ve learned from them. It’s a great opportunity to learn in real life and discuss how you applied their advice and its outcome during your next meeting. Applying your mentor advice is a great way to show how much you appreciate and value your mentor’s efforts.
You grow by listening to the advice and guidance of your mentor. Make sure you use every opportunity to ask for their feedback. You can ask your mentor to listen to a presentation that you worry about, look for advice on certain workplace challenges, share your thoughts on a project, explore your career ambitions, etc.
For both parties to have a chance to grow within the goal frames, try sharing your thoughts and feedback with your mentor. Have you applied mentor’s advice and it worked? Let your mentor know it. Are you more knowledgeable about how to deal with certain tasks at work since you started your mentoring journey? Let your mentor know it.
Mentors are extremely busy people with careers and goals of their own, so make sure you value their time and effort to help you become the better version of yourself. Show up on time, cancel in advance, thank them when it is time for your mentoring relationship to end. A followup email highlighting your progress and improvements a few months after your last session will definitely bring warmth into a relationship with your mentor!
“All good things come to an end”, – sang Nelly Furtado, unfortunately, she was right. Your mentor-mentee relationship will end at some point. It’s important for you to get the most out of your journey and keep going without relying on your mentor as much. On the other hand, it’s a great idea to stay in touch with your mentor, check in from time to time and ask for future guidance.