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Career Coach: Mentee to Be

Submitted by admin on Fri, 06/15/2012 - 09:32

Simma Lieberman, Career CoachNow that you've sought out your perfect mentor, know how to be a good mentee. A mentor can show you the way, but you must then be the one to do the footwork. That means being willing to take responsibility for your own learning.

The first time you meet with your potential mentor, be clear about what you want. The more specific you can be, the easier it will be for that person to help you. At the same time, be flexible and aware that your objectives may change as you become more conscious of things you didn’t know before.

Define the mentoring relationship—will it be a formal or informal mentoring process? If it’s formal, you and your mentor will schedule specific times to meet or talk by phone. You’ll create this framework together. If it’s informal, you'll still need clear objectives, although you won’t have a regular contact schedule—you’ll meet as needed.

Discuss with your mentor the process you’ll use to receive feedback. Agree on how you’ll resolve any conflicts or misunderstandings, and be prepared to be held accountable for your actions. Determine what works best for you. Be willing to learn, and be open with your mentor about your goals and expectations. And don't underestimate your ability to mentor your mentor in unexpected ways!

Your mentor will help you move forward. Stick with the “winners”—people who support you and lift you up when you have self-doubt. Let high self-esteem and confidence become a habit.

Simma Lieberman, Career Coach