3 excellent ways to approach a mentor

How to approach a mentor

Finding a mentor is a difficult but important task. However once you’ve  identified your ideal mentor, you still need to work out how to ask. Here are some tips on how to approach a mentor. 

Everyone knows that Mentors are invaluable not just to career progression, but to well.. life itself! There are so many important lessons to be learned if you have the right role model to help you navigate the complexities of the workplace. But it’s not always easy to find a suitable mentor or to build up the courage to approach a mentor, especially one who ticks all the boxes for your self-development and career progression.

You might be looking for a mentor with sector knowledge and experience, in a position to give constructive feedback about your career with a potentially strategic network. This can be daunting. The very thought can put a lot of women off. But read on to find out some key tips on how to approach a mentor.

approach a mentor

It can be difficult to identify a perfect mentor who could be the right match for you. However 3Plus has a wide range of mentors with a wealth of experience. Find out more HERE.

Here are some key tips to approach a mentor

#1 Make an enthusiastic but appropriate introduction

Nothing is guaranteed to turn anyone off more than a gushing lengthy email of admiration. Keep it short, sweet and real. Reference valid reasons why you think this person would be a great mentor for you. Maybe you have seen a presentation, met them briefly at an event, read an article or post they wrote and have been inspired and motivated to contact them personally. Convey how special their experience would be and how it could add value to you.

#2 Offer reciprocal added value

Share how you are willing to support or assist your mentor in some way, no matter how small. Present yourself as someone who can add value rather than a person who is desperate and needy. Offer support in a project or other general assistance.

#3 Understand that a mentor is a gift

Having a great mentor is a gift. Describe briefly what you are hoping for in any mentoring relationship and why that person would be ideal. You can mention you have a mentoring plan with clear goals and values, but don’t share the detail with them yet. Indicate it is time-bound. Propose a short Skype call or meeting to present your vision to them. Mentors are usually senior and therefore busy. So be respectful of their time and schedules.

There are two possible outcomes:

  • Sorry but… this is not your moment. Accept the situation graciously and ask if you can stay in touch and perhaps they recommend someone else with a similar background to whom they can refer you.
  • I would be delighted... accept with enthusiasm without going over the top and do your best to fit into their schedules to go to the next level.

Make sure you are well prepared and download the 3Plus eBook Make the Most of Mentoring to manage your expectations. A mentoring relationship is driven by the Mentee so you have to get it right.

3Plus, 3Plus online e-Gazine for professional women, Female Talent Pipeline, Mentoring, Personal & Professional Development
Staff Writer: Career
Web | Email |
3Plus welcomes any writers to join 3Plus as a Staff Writer. If you are an expert in Job Search, Career and Mentoring or just want to share your experiences, contact us! We would love to give you a voice!

Leave a Reply

Found that interesting? Learn more about our services
Individual services
Make your dreams a reality with a professional evaluation of your career to date.
more info
Corporate services
The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)
more info
Upcoming events
Currently we don't have upcoming events
Download and listen free podcasts
Why all women need a strong LinkedIn profile
Free Download

Data on women on LinkedIn has always been hard to get and analyse, but some new information sheds light on how women use the platform differently to their male colleagues and what those differences mean. You will find out why you need a strong LinkedIn profile.

It has always been difficult to identify women on LinkedIn because it’s not possible to do a search based on gender. Any efforts to track women on LinkedIn specifically, involve complex Boolean strings involving pronouns or searching via women’s clubs, universities and networks. So any analysis has always been more anecdotal around perceptions and personal experience, rather than data based. However research from 2017  using LinkedIn member profile data for members in the United States over the past 12 months. Published on the LinkedIn blog it supports pretty much what we already know about women on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn  is the main professional data base used globally by hiring managers and recruiters, yet women continue to engage less than their male colleagues, putting themselves at a distinct professional disadvantage. Now we have some facts and figures as well as tips and tricks to persuade  you to up your game. All women have to have a strong LinkedIn profile. No ifs and buts.

 

How to Get Noticed by Head Hunters & Recruiters
Free Download

In this power coaching podcast, we’re going to tackle one of the questions asked multiple times a week by active job seekers and passive candidates.

How can I get noticed by head hunters and recruiters and connect with them?

In this short power coaching podcast Dorothy Dalton shares some tips and tricks to make sure that you are always on the radar of the recruitment and search specialists who can be most helpful to you. With extensive experience in executive search and corporate HR Dorothy has placed, coached and trained thousands of men and women to career success. As a career coach she has a deep understanding of the job search market and what job seekers need to do to position themselves to they are easily found.

As CEO of 3Plus she also has deep experience of the challenges women face in the workplace. Sadly because women tend not to create career strategies they can be vulnerable when it comes to dealing with change. Regular transitions become career crises. In this short session you will learn some simple tips and tricks to make sure you are on the radar of key recruitment specialists in your sector, geography or function.  It’s not rocket science.

 

 

 

 

One of the most puzzling things about working in executive search is that people and I say this reluctantly particularly women fail to plan ahead. You’ve heard me say before that only 5% of women have a career strategy. This means that they are not prepared for any emergencies until they become a crisis.

 

Goal setting tips to boost your career
Free Download

The happiest people are those that really love their jobs. Those that don’t, dread Sunday nights and the upcoming work week. So how do you get to a place where you look forward to a new week of doing what satisfies you? You’ll have to either learn to love your current role, or make a commitment to pursue your dream job. Use these goal setting tips to help you get to where you want to be.

Some women choose the latter, and to do so you’ll have to set career goals to get where you want to be. So make sure you have a detailed plan on how to land a job that you will tick all the boxes.

The majority of women choose to stay in their own organizations and even then you still need to have goals, not just KPis set by your manager. But even if you do see your career developing within your current business it’s still important to set goals.

Many women struggle with career planning and creating a career strategy which can lead to problems. This makes them vulnerable to and sort of challenge which can moprh into a full blown career crisis. Some simple steps to plan and prepare can help avoid this.

Take a look at these goal setting tips to help boost your career and set you on the right path.

Lewis Carroll  said

If you don’t know where you are going any road will get you there.”

Research shows that only about 5% of women create career goals and a career strategy. This can have a negative impact on your career progression. It means you are reactive not proactive and career glitches can morph into full blown crises. It puts women at a clear disadvantage to men.

Learn these simple goal setting tips to boost your career and protect and prepare you for all eventualities. If these goal setting tips make you think that you could use some further help,  contact us immediately.

 

When Does Female Rivalry Turn into Sabotage
Free Download

There’s a lot of stuff written on social media about  female rivalry and competition between women. Some of it makes sense and some of it is confusing. Organizations are pyramids with fewer roles at the top than at the bottom. It is inevitable that at some level, as more and more women are in the talent pipeline, at some point they will be in competition with other women.

Many would say that women aren’t competitive. I would suggest re-framing that. I think it’s more accurate to say they are not as competitive in the workplace as men. We have also been made to feel guilty about being competitive. We need to get over that.  Here are the reasons:

  1. The male nature of corporate culture makes it a disincentive to compete
  2. Women don’t want to compete because  prescribed male goals are not attractive enough for them. “Work 14 hour days, not see my partner or family … get sick.. die..no thanks.. I’ll pass”
  3. Women don’t know how to compete in the workplace. They are new arrivals on the corporate competition scene and lack practise.
  4. Women experience gender blow back when they do compete, from both men and women
  5. Women have been raised to think that competing with other women is not empowering them. As more women enter the talent pipeline that is just nonsense.

Learn some insights from Annabel Kaye, Employment Law Expert about how it’s OK to be competitive and the danger zone when it can turn into sabotage. Understand the benefits of mutual support and how all women can profit from having strong strategic allies, role models and mentors.