Guest post by JoAnn Yanez, ND, MPH, CAE
Did you know that people with mentors are happier in their jobs than those without them? They are also more likely to get a raise and a promotion. 1 On the flip side, mentors also report higher career/job satisfaction and professional connections. 2 However, only about 1 in 3 professionals maintain a current relationship with a mentor. 3 Follow along below to find out the qualities that make a good mentor/mentee relationship.
What does a good mentor-mentee relationship look like?
- There is honest and open communication.
- The mentor sees value in helping a younger professional grow.
- There are clear expectations on how the pair wants to interact. They work together to set goals and expectations.
- The mentee expresses the areas they feel guidance would help the most and is receptive to feedback.
- The mentor possesses a skillset or expertise that meets a deficit in the mentee’s abilities and is open to share successes and failures.
Helpful tip: One size doesn’t fit all! It’s okay to have different mentors for different purposes along the course of your career.
How do you go about finding a mentor?
- Network. And network some more. The majority of mentorship relationships happen organically, but you need to be out there and meeting professionals to make it happen.
- Go outside your comfort zone. Connect with individuals who are successful doing what you want to do – or being where you want to be professionally.
- Use all your networks. Alumni associations, professional organizations, religious affiliations and hobbies can be a great way to find a mentor. Some of them may even have formal mentorship programs. Ask!
- While most mentorship relationships happen organically, don’t be afraid to ask someone you think would be a good fit.
- If it isn’t natural, don’t force it!
As you grow professionally, self-reflection is key. It is important to not only tune in to your strengths and weaknesses, but to also seek objective outside opinions regarding what people perceive as well. Mentors can be a key component in successful career progression.