Make the Most of your Mentor

The Mistake: You don’t manage the mentoring relationship and fail to get the outcomes you’re looking to achieve. 

A good mentoring experience doesn’t just happen without planning and care throughout the process. There are four stages of a mentoring relationship that define your progress:

Selecting

Engaging

Progressing

Closing

 Each stage has its own set of objectives and tasks. 

Mentoring relationships often fail because of mistakes in the very first stage, Selecting Your Mentor.

Women Select the Wrong Mentor

Selecting the wrong mentor can be a waste of everybody’s time, as well as detrimental to your self-confidence and career progression. 

When I worked for Humana in the early stages of my career, I was fortunate enough to be part of the Management Intern Program.  Though that program came with a formal mentoring relationship, being matched with the right mentor was just as important as selecting my own mentors in other stages of my career. I learned that being thoughtful about and carefully outlining my needs was one of the most important first steps to a successful mentoring relationship.

Connect with the right mentor, someone you can benefit from. Don’t just select someone who’s deemed “important” as your mentor. 

Before selecting a mentor, know what your development areas are and what skills you need to build for your career path. Seek a mentor who is knowledgeable about the skills you need to enhance or roles you’re considering on your career path. Find someone who has common personal or professional interests and aligns with your expertise.

For more details on the success factors and implementation for each stage of the mentoring process, check out the complete FuelForward Mentoring Guide (link). 

Influence Your Own Access

You’ll continue to be left behind until you step up to take more ownership in gaining access to important relationships and opportunities,  Take a deep breath, and make it a priority to take the first steps of learning more about these relationships and engaging with a mentor who can be instrumental in helping you Fuel Your Career Forward.

Work with mentors to understand the types of skills and experiences you’ll need, and to help you grow in those areas.  They also can help you understand how things really work in the office and help you avoid landmines in your career.  A mentor may be inside or outside of your employer, and can be at any level – senior to you, a peer, or a subordinate.

Download our free guide Getting the most from your mentor and take your first steps to Fuel Your Career Forward.

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