How Can A Mentor Help Me?

December 22, 2015

Career Advice

22688606656_23cea10f95_zSo you found the perfect mentor—the one you admire and respect, the one who does the job you’d like to do some day, the one who is unflappable at their job, the one who seems to handle people and work like it’s as easy as pie. You’re a bit jealous and envious, for sure. But, the most important thing at this point is to soak up all their knowledge and secrets. Now, how do you make that happen?

  1. Ask them to lunch or coffee. Ask them out to discuss what a mentorship means to each of you. Set some boundaries around how often you’ll get together and communicate. Both of you need to agree to the mentorship going forward. Don’t force it. Be respectful of their time and gracious they have agreed to offer it to you.
  2. List what you like. You already admire this person for various reasons. Put together a list of characteristics and skills you admire and begin working with them on how you might also acquire these skills. The mentor can listen and give suggestions, feedback on past scenarios, or even give you some real-world homework that you can apply in the office.
  3. Share strategy. Discuss your long-range career plans with your mentor and give them a chance to chime in on your next steps.
  4. Get help navigating the organization. Your mentor may be able to help you understand the office politics and culture. He/She could introduce you to the influential players and help you learn how to communicate through the organization.
  5. Attend industry events together. Your mentor can bring you as a guest to company-sponsored events or industry meetings to help you learn about employees and the industry in general. Or they can suggest industry groups you should become a part of.
  6. Ask them to advocate your work. Your mentor can be someone that helps promote your skills in the organization. In larger organizations it can be hard to share your talents with those in different departments. Your mentor can be an advocate for you to get the ball rolling and point you in the right direction based on your pursuits. Your mentor, in essence, should be helping you build a reputation in the organization by supporting your growth, sharing your skills and abilities with others, and passing on their wisdom and knowledge.

As you see, this mentorship can look like a one way street. As the mentee, make sure you are routinely thanking your mentor and making sure he/she is aware of your appreciation and witnesses your growth. If you’re moving in the right direction, this should be empowering for them as well.

Image via Image Catalog/Flickr.

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About Spectrum Brands Careers

Spectrum Brands is a global $5 Billion Consumer Products company headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. While you may not be familiar with the Spectrum Brands name, there is no doubt you will recognize some of our brands.

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  1. 6 Ways to Shake Up Your Job Search | Spectrum Brands Careers Blog - February 23, 2016

    […] use a little help at times and using mentors to help you in your search is a great way to do it. Mentorship works for both parties, that’s the beauty of […]

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