Management are tasked with steering their team in the right direction professionally.
However, you still have a responsibility to own your own development and ensure that you are working with others who can help get you to where you want to be.
One great way to do this is to seek out a mentor. Many companies have an established mentoring program in place, and if yours doesn’t then why not ask your HR/ Management team if this is something they can consider implementing.
Once you have been assigned your mentor it’s time to schedule your first meeting. Part of the mentor’s responsibility will be to give you direction and advice however, maintaining the relationship should be your responsibility. Remember, this person is giving up their time and sharing their knowledge with you; make this a more enjoyable experience for them by organising your meetings and being fully present throughout.
How can you be the best mentee? See our following 7 tips to help you get the most out of this opportunity:
1) Listen Mentors have been known to test you by gauging how you respond to feedback; and the better you are at receiving it, the more of it you will get. Be an active listener by restating the advice in your own words and use body language that shows openness to what your mentor is saying.
2) Show Respect Be respectful of the time your mentor is giving you by ensuring to show up for meetings on time, being prepared and fully present throughout and ensuring to end the meeting on time. 3) Be Humble This tip can go a long way – you might already know, or think you already know, what your mentor is saying. It’s important to listen politely and follow up be asking about their personal experience relating to that specific advice. You never know, you might even learn something from getting a fresh perspective.
4) Commit to the process You requested this time – so be ready to work and bring your best attitude. If you are tasked with some follow up tasks make sure to complete these and don’t miss deadlines or complete anything halfheartedly. Make the most of this experience.
5) Be Brave Your mentor might push you out of you comfort zone; be brave and face these challenges head on.
6) Trust Trust is a two-way street. Make sure that your mentor can trust your professionalism and trust that you will be respectful to anyone in their circle that they might introduce you to. Gaining access to your mentor’s network can be of huge benefit so make sure to show the utmost respect at all times. 7) Reciprocate
It’s very important to give thanks and appreciation but why not go a step further. Look for other ways to give back and show your appreciation; share an article you think they would enjoy, make an introduction that they might benefit from, or offer to help in any circumstance that you can. Why not also look to offer your time to mentor someone who could learn from you? Casting the mentorship net wider and passing the good deed along.
If you don’t have access to a mentor in work, then look further afield. There are mentoring opportunities everywhere – think about who you look up to, admire and feel like you could learn from. People love to share, coach and help others. If you don’t have a dedicated mentoring program to enrol in, then why not create your own mentoring relationship – reach out and if they accept coffee is on you! 😊
We hope you enjoy our tips on how to take responsibility for your own professional development. We know that during current times, many people have experienced the knock on effects of company's struggling. If that is the case it will extremely hard to see how you can look to become part of a mentorship program. However, it might just be the most important time to lean on others. Do you know someone who can help improve your CV, do you know someone who can give you career advice, do you know someone who isnpires you and could help you think outside the box? A mentorship does not have to take place in the workplace - as long as you are learning and benefiting from the exchange then it is worth your time and effort. Love The Serenity Club x