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.
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.
Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services
Make your dreams a reality with a professional evaluation of your career to date.
The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)
Dates for the Diary
November 12th European Commission DG GROW
Informal talk on how to deal with sexism - 12.30 - 1400
November 25th Council of the European Union - Corporate Event
How to deal with sexism and harassment in the workplace
Download and listen free podcasts
How to Create an Effective USP What is a USP? Our Unique Selling Point or UVP (Unique Value Proposition) is our key core message about where...read more
How to Rethink the Modern Workplace for Gender Equality New research shows that diversity and inclusion is a top priority for leaders. So why...read more
Menopause in the workplace In this podcast with Nicki Williams award winning author, keynote speaker and Founder of Happy Hormones for Life,...read more
How to Cultivate Empathy in the Workplace Nancy Milton, international business communications expert, keynote speaker and author, share some vital...read more
Taking Care of your COW Tanvi Guatam, international Personal Branding expert says there is a misconception out there that a personal brand is...read more
The importance of Hard Talk Dawn Metcalfe, author of Managing the Matrix and Hard Talk, shares with us tips to achieve the lasting communication...read more
When Does Female Rivalry Turn into Sabotage There’s a lot of stuff written on social media about female rivalry and competition between women. Some...read more
Goal setting tips to boost your career The happiest people are those that really love their jobs. Those that don’t, dread Sunday nights and...read more
Sexism: How to stage a Bystander Intervention in the Workplace In this power coaching podcast, we're going to tackle one of the questions...read more
How to Get Noticed by Head Hunters & Recruiters In this power coaching podcast, we're going to tackle one of the questions asked multiple...read more
A company might sound like they are diverse and inclusive, but make sure to do a thorough investigation into gender washing.read more
It might not be apparently obvious how a consensual relationship can turn someone into a poor brand ambassador, but we need to take into account the power structures at play.read more
We tend to think of single-sex education as being an antiquated notion, but maybe it could solve some of our more contemporary issues.read more