A Life-Changing Opportunity for Mentees
Have you ever been mentored before? Chances are you have. You may not have realized it at the time, but if you have ever spent a significant amount of time learning from a professor, coach, teacher, community member, etc. in either a one-on-one or group setting, you've probably been mentored before. More likely than not, if you learned more from that individual about life, rather than their craft, you've most likely been mentored.
Look back on your life to identify past mentors. As you reflect, give thought to what characteristics each person possessed that helped them establish a relationship with you, and the behaviors you exhibited that make their wisdom stick. Mentoring is not training, social chit-chat, or supervision. It is a unique relationship that takes participants out of their day-to-day activities to be intentional about pursuing their goals. Being mentored means taking time out of your schedule to learn from an experienced individual as you plan for your future and strategize how to achieve your goals.
If you want to be a part of a formal mentoring relationship, then you have a couple different options:
Take some time to think about people you know who have provided you with some good, objective feedback and guidance, who have asked insightful questions, and who have pushed you to focus on your goals and development. Is there someone you always seek out when you are trying to make a difficult decision? Is there someone whose guidance you always trust? Chances are, these people are your informal mentors.
Remember, mentoring is about building a relationship and relationships take work. Check in with your mentor from time to time and let him or her know how you are doing. It takes commitment, but the rewards that you will gain from developing this relationship can be life-changing.
If you want to learn more about how to be an effective mentee and/or mentoring, view some of the information listed below and look through our mentoring website on Infocenter. Otherwise, contact TJ Warren, Pathways Center Associate for Vocation and Mentoring at (319) 352-8651 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Expectations and Responsibilities of Effective Mentees
At Wartburg, effective mentees are expected to:
At Wartburg, an effective mentee is:
- Be Enthusiastic - make great use of your time by keeping your meetings and providing energy
- Be Committed - always take part in regularly schedule meetings with your mentor (if plans change, be proactive about rescheduling and communicating with your mentor)
- Be Engaged - take part in any activities and actions discussed and intentionally reflect on and progress towards your goals
- Be Passionate - get excited about your own growth and development by being proactive (bring questions with you and talk about what you've learned about yourself consistently)
- Maintain Confidentiality - maintaining confidentiality will allow you to build trust and rapport with the mentor over time, making it easier for the mentee to share and the mentor to offer encouragement and support
- Take Action - take action on the advice offered to grow and learn
At Wartburg, an effective mentee will:
- Organized/proactive - plans ahead to get the most out of meetings
- Asks useful questions - draw upon your mentor's knowledge and resources
- Respectful/humble - be considerate and accept constructive feedback when necessary
- Appreciative - thank your mentor often for his/her time and insight
- Reciprocal - share your knowledge/expertise when appropriate - give back
- Learn and gain personal insight shared by a more-experienced individual
- Discover new paths or passions in life and/or explore an existing passion even further
- Develop a network that could potentially aid in their personal and/or professional goals
- Move forward on finding answers to some of their own big questions
- Profit from having a knowledgeable resource, as well as a listening ear