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Are You Mentor Material?

Remember when you were a rookie in your career? Maybe you had a mentor who gave you some key advice or that extra vote of confidence you needed when making a choice along your career path. I’m hopeful you still have a mentor, even if you’ve reached a level of success in your career. Maybe you never had a mentor, but at times sure wished you’d had someone to listen to your questions and support your career! Maybe you have years of experience and the knowledge to help someone else who is new to your industry. Are you ready to be a mentor? Are you Mentor Material?

Being a mentor doesn’t mean you have to know all the answers. Being a mentor doesn’t mean jumping in with your advice and expectations or telling a newbie what to do. Mentors provide guidance and insight to their mentees. No need to be at the pinnacle of your career. You probably have more to offer than you think.

  1. Be Committed. If you are helping someone, you must be committed to doing so and to putting in the time to make the relationship work; for the long-term.
  2. Have Integrity. You must be respected and respectable to be a good mentor. Be an honest person. It’s the way to be – even if you’re not a mentor!
  3. Be engaged. Hey, you can’t be a mentor just because it “sounds” like the right thing to do. Be present in the life of your mentee. This will be a personal relationship with give and take, a lot of listening, and showing support. You’ll need to be engaged in the relationship.
  4. Be open to sharing. Yes, you need listen, but also be willing to share. Your ups and downs will help your mentee navigate their challenges. There is no perfectly smooth ride in anyone’s career. Be willing to share your mistakes and falls, those are great lessons for your mentee as well.

Being a mentor requires diligence. Commit to meeting regularly with your mentee and navigating the relationship and sticking with the progress. You’ll find you “get” just as much as you “give” – probably more!