Earlier last month I had the pleasure of speaking at the Ashurst Sydney Women’s Internal Mentoring event on “The Importance of Mentoring for Career Success”. Mentoring has helped me significantly throughout my career both as an employee, as well as over the last three and a half years as an entrepreneur.
Mentoring is something I believe anyone can benefit from, whether it is being mentored or mentoring someone else. Starting out is often the hardest part but once you find a mentor, the hard work is worth it. Reflecting on the event and the discussions I had during the night, I thought I would summarize some of the key points to help those of you who are also interested in mentorships but weren’t able to attend the event.
Some of the key points covered:
- Initially, go through a goal-setting exercise- where would you like to get to and what skills gap do you have?
- Be specific in finding someone who can help with your goals or skills gaps
- Find a mentor who is compatible but not a clone (diversity is key!) You want a different perspective.
- Don’t reach out to strangers (you can get onto a potential mentor’s radar by networking or asking a mutual connection for an introduction. Try going out for a coffee first to see if you “click”)
- Be specific, tell them why you are asking them to be your mentor
- Make it clear you’re looking for advice and guidance (not a tutor)
A good mentor/mentee relationship will consist of being able to share reciprocal, honest and respectful feedback
At WORK180, one of the 20 question criteria we pre-screen employers on is whether they offer mentoring programs to their employees. If you want to view which employers offer mentoring programs (plus other initiatives such as flexible working, their stance on pay equity and paid parental leave), then view the Best Employers page.