Given that the primary purpose for entering into a mentoring relationship is to help you develop personally and professionally, before you approach a potential mentor you need to determine what your goals are. In other words, figure out what you hope to get from being mentored. Keep in mind that the more specific you are, the easier it will be for a mentor to help you.
The type of help and support you are looking for from a mentor varies from mentee to mentee. Here are some topics that you might consider:
• Career advice;
• Help setting career goals and strategies for achieving them;
• Help with networking;
• Help expanding your network;
• Help raising your profile;
• Insights into a particular area or specialty within the industry;
• Perspectives on ways of achieving a work-home balance; and
• Improvement of particular skills, such as communication skills, management skills, or time management skills.
It’s also important that you be honest with yourself about whether you’re willing to invest time and energy in a mentoring relationship and whether you are truly open to being mentored.
Need help setting goals? We have more information about goal setting.