Mentorship is a mutually beneficial professional relationship in which an experienced individual (the mentor) imparts knowledge, expertise and wisdom to a less experienced person (the mentee) while simultaneously honing their mentoring skills.
An effective mentor can guide the mentee professionally while maintaining a friendly and supportive relationship. A mentor should always have the mentee’s best interests in mind and tailor their mentorship style to meet their needs.
Anyone looking for a mentor should follow three best practices:
- Have a clear goal. Define your career and set achievable business goals. Understand what you must learn to reach your goals.
- Take a businesslike approach. Approach a mentor relationship as if it’s a business friendship. Be casual and friendly, and try not to ask awkward questions like “Will you be my mentor?”
- Look for a mentor in your professional network. You may already have a mentor in your professional network who provides advice in various ways. All it takes is a little effort to grow that connection into an ongoing relationship.