The Big Secret New Moms Know About Finding Mentors

Part 4 of 4 in my series Finding a Mentor.

I’m here to let you in on a little secret about finding real-life mentors.

But, if you’re a mom, you might already know this secret about finding a mentor in the real world.

What’s so special about moms – in particular, new moms with babies and toddlers running around?

Two things:

One, moms of very young children are extremely busy. I myself have a young child, and I’m here to tell you that it’s almost impossible to understand ahead of time how a baby or small child will reduce the amount of free time you have to basically zero. As in, “Did I manage a shower today? Awesome!” (Those of you with children are nodding your heads vigorously right now.)

Two, most new moms are extremely grateful for the emotional support, advice, product recommendations, and etc. they’ve recently gotten from other new moms. I remember being told about bouncy chairs by my dear college friend. (Amazingly, I had previously never heard of them.) During my son’s first 6 months of life, bouncy chairs allowed me to eat a meal uninterrupted and go to the bathroom in peace. (Thank you, Konnie.) I could go on and on about advice for morning sickness, safe bedding, nursing schedules, stretch marks, as well as the free babysitting I received.

As a result, new moms are greatly motivated to pay if forward and help other new moms, despite being very limited on time.

How do they do it? Here's the secret:

New moms create a network of mini-mentors.

New (including expecting) moms create networking opportunities for themselves. They have baby showers; they create groups on Facebook and Meetup.com so they can network with other moms, they post their experiences and problems on social media so other moms can comment; they have play dates.

And then, other moms heed the call. They come to the showers and play dates, join the groups. And what do they mostly talk about? They talk about pregnancy, childbirth and parenting. They share stories, lessons learned and advice. They commiserate, but mostly they help.

Many, if not most, new moms create for themselves a network of mini-mentors: a group of people they can turn to for various things they need related to parenting. Instead of relying heavily on one other mom to meet all their needs, they draw on many people, a little at a time. And they know who they can turn to for various things: I go to Sue for advice on food allergies, to Alberta for advice on getting back into shape post-partum, to Erika when I don’t know how to handle my child’s tantrums.

And this is the big secret for finding mentors in the real world: develop a network of mini-mentors for your career.

(I want to acknowledge here all the dads who are just as busy as the moms, especially the stay-at-home dads. However the moms, for whatever reason, do much more mini-mentor networking than the dads. Just check the Facebook or Meetup groups in your local area and you’ll see what I mean.)

Below are six reasons this strategy works well for careers, as well as for parenting. I’ve also included some simple strategies for starting your mini-mentor network.

6 Reasons We All Need Mini-Mentors For Our Careers 

1. You are employing the power of micro-commitments

Yes, it is awesome if you can find someone who is willing and able to become your true-blue, formal mentor, someone who will meet you every month and check in with you when you get off-track. However, it may take some time to find this kind of match. In the meantime, there are almost certainly people around you who are willing to make micro-commitments of their time: 30 minutes of brain-picking over coffee, a brief email exchange, a question while you happen to be together at a party or other event.

Try this: Make a list of five people you know that could potentially be mini-mentors right now. Don’t stop until you reach five (or more).

2. Having multiple mentors lets them specialize

Mentors are real people, with strengths and weaknesses just like you and me. Let them mentor you in what they are really good at – and let go of the expectation that they can fix all of your problems in every aspect of your career. 

Try this: There may be a temptation to pick the person that is most comfortable to ask. But the best strategy uses the reverse approach – make a list of what you’re good at. Then a list of what you wish you knew more about/were more confident about. Now rank the second list. The top 4 are the areas were you should seek out a mentor. 

3. Each mentor exposes you to a new network of people, ideas and opportunities

If your mentors specialize in different professional (and personal) areas, chances are they also have distinct social networks. Make sure that some of your time with them allows for connections to these networks to happen, either by chance or by making specific introductions. Networking is still one of the most important ways to build businesses, find jobs, and get “fresh blood” into your creative thinking.

Try this: Consider your list of five potential mini-mentors. Sketch or describe the network each one has. Do they completely overlap or are they different? If they are not at least somewhat different, add another potential mini-mentor to your list, one who does have a different network.

4. Different mentors have different perspectives

For a number of years in my former field of adventure education, I relied heavily on one person as a mentor. This person advised me that, in order to make the industry safer, certain activities in our field were becoming passé and should be eliminated. Following this person’s advice, I told my staff and clients the same thing. Some clients objected, and I think I actually lost a little business over it. But, I held fast to what I had been taught. 

About seven years later, I had a new mentor in this field, who had a different perspective on some of these same activities. My new mentor believed in keeping some of these “higher risk” activities, but changing the way they were facilitated to manage the risk and lower the chance of injury. Same desired outcome – safety – with a different approach.

I still value both people as mentors. And, I am now more likely to take the advice of a mentor and think it through for myself, rather than just following what I’ve been taught. If you have more than one mentor for a topic that is very important to you, you are more likely to gain a broader, more nuanced understanding of the issues – and the possibilities.

Try this: Consider a topic, skill or issue that is crucial to you in your current field. Who in your list of mini-mentors might have different perspectives on it? If you are not sure you may ask, or you may consider adding another person to your list.

5. Mentoring relationships have a life cycle

There are many reasons that a particular mentor may cease to be a primary mentor after a while. This person may teach you all they have to teach on a particular subject. You (or they) may change careers or specialties. One of you may move away, and the relationship may lose its momentum without regular contact. Your mentor may go through a life change (such as illness, childbirth, or the extended care of an elderly parent) and may not have time or energy to mentor for the foreseeable future. 

If you have chosen well, this relationship will not end but simply evolve, into a friendship or something similar. You may stay in contact, but may realize you just can’t lean on this person the way you used to.

If you have developed a mentoring network of mini-mentors, the evolution of this one relationship will have less negative impact on your career overall.

6. Mini-mentoring networks create an easy way to give back

When you develop a network of mini-mentors, chances are, all of you may be donating micro-commitments of mentoring back and forth – including you. This is in part because you will be following the 3-to-1 Rule I outline in Part 2 of this series, which you can find here

It’s also because some of the mentors in your network will be peers, rather than people way ahead of you in their careers. Your peer mentors will offer you their expertise, and you will offer them yours.

And, as part of giving back to your mentors, you’ll probably introduce some of your mentors to each other, which will add strands to the web. (Think about the new-mom networks I described above.)

All of this giving-and-receiving-and-giving-again will keep the enthusiasm and the momentum up in your mentoring network. It’s an easy way to keep it going, and it just feels good to be able to pay-it-forward on a regular basis. 

Good luck developing your mini-mentor network! Let me know how it goes, okay?

 

 

Finding a Mentor, Made Easy

Part 3 of 4 in the series Finding a Mentor

How on earth do I get someone to be my mentor?”

This seems like a big hurdle, doesn’t it?

When I encourage clients to find a mentor, I can hear the mental brakes screech to a halt in front of the roadblock called It’s Too Much To Ask. As in, it’s too much to ask someone I really admire to give me his or her time and free advice.

And they’re right. At least, the way people typically approach mentoring.

But, there is one easy, important way to make finding a great mentor more likely (and asking more comfortable). Just remember this:

Be a farmer, not a hunter

How does a farmer get a great harvest? She plows the field, she sows the seeds. She waters, she weeds, she fertilizes, she waits. Only after the crops have had plenty of time to grow does she harvest the delightful vegetables.

In short, the successful farmer gives quite a bit to the soil and crops before he sees the results.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

A great mentoring relationship grows rather organically (pun intended) out of a relationship that has already been nurtured. And in case you hadn’t guessed, you (the potential mentee) are the farmer. It’s up to you, my friend, to initiate the nurturing.

(Now, this is not to imply any criticism of hunting, either actual hunting or metaphorical hunting. After all, when we’re looking for a job we go “job hunting.” It’s just that farming is the metaphor I encourage you to use for developing a mentoring relationship. You don’t go out and “get” one that already exists; you create it from the seed of a relationship.)

So back to farming. Let’s take a peek at what this actually looks like when seeking a mentor. Although there is no “playbook,” there are guiding principles to this approach. They are:

1. Look first for potential mentors within the network you already have.

People who know you should know what great things you are capable of, and you have already done some of the groundwork of nurturing there relationships.

Once you have taken stock of the kind of mentoring you need (see here for my article on this), you can look around at your social network for someone who has the skills and experience to help you grow.

One tip: Pick someone who is already 10 steps ahead of you in their own career, at least in the area you need mentoring.

2. If you want to approach someone you don’t already know, develop a basic relationship FIRST.

Is there someone you don’t know personally, but have a mentor-crush on? It’s still possible to end up with this person as your mentor. But, like dating, it’s important to approach this person gradually, and (again) nurture the relationship as a give-and-take. Have conversations. Develop trust. And, when possible, offer to do something meaningful and genuinely helpful for the other person first. (See below.)

One tip: If your mentor-crush is someone quite famous, either nationally or just in your particular field, chances are that they are already swamped with requests to be a mentor. This will make it fairly unlikely that they will be able to say “yes” to you (although not impossible…). Consider how hard you are willing to work to get a mentor, and choose a potential mentor accordingly.

3. Follow the 3-1 rule.

Can you count three ways you have given to your potential mentor, before you ask for help? If not, you may not have nurtured the relationship enough.

This giving could be all sorts of things. Perhaps you’ve connected them with someone else that helps their career. Perhaps you’ve sent them an article or link, or even a client referral. Perhaps you’ve done them a favor. Perhaps you’ve simply been a good listener, and showed that you care about their world and their concerns.

4. Prove yourself worthy of their commitment first.

Chances are if you consider person X a great potential mentor, others do too. Even if you do have a relationship with this person, they may be getting multiple requests to be a mentor. In a way, you need to audition for the “job” of mentee.

Does this seem strange? Consider it from your potential mentor’s perspective: they are volunteering their time; they are probably already pretty busy. Their main ROI (return on investment) is the sense of satisfaction they’ll get from helping someone succeed. So, they will be more inclined to mentor someone who looks likely to succeed with their help.

You don’t need to stand on your head and juggle (unless that’s your talent). But, you do need to show your potential mentor your talent and potential. Ask yourself the following. If you can’t say yes to these questions, consider upping your game for a while before asking.

  • Do I walk my talk around this person?
  • Do I keep my commitments (including being on time)?
  • Do I act professionally around this person, and others they associate with?
  • Have they witnessed or experienced my finest work to date?
  • Have I shown initiative, and a willingness to be a contribution, around this person?
  • Would this person feel confident that I am a person who willingly takes (and uses) feedback from others?

5. Start with a more specific and limited request.

A great way to start is by saying you admire their work/accomplishments and want to learn more about what they do (or how they got to where they are). Could you buy them a coffee and pick their brain a bit? If so, set a time limit (say, 30 or 60 minutes or whatever they can manage) and stick to it like glue. Be sure to pay for the coffee.

This is your basic informational interview. Come prepared with some questions, ones that show you’ve done your homework (i.e., don’t ask anything you could have easily learned from their website or other readily available materials.) Take notes if you like, and strike a conversational tone. Be personable, interested, open.

Tip #1: Make sure you invite them to tell their story. It will show interest in them as a person (not just as a tool to help you) and will also yield unexpected ways to find common ground between you. For example, you could ask:

  • So how did you get into this field/industry/business?
  • What do you like best about what you do?
  • What’s been your biggest challenge, and how did you overcome it?

You may not have time to ask lots of these sorts of questions. However, asking at least one is a very valuable use of your time.

Tip #2: You should mostly listen during an informational interview. However, since you are also hoping the relationship will continue, look for small windows to share things about yourself that will (a) show common ground and (b) provide evidence for the questions asked in #4, above. Limit your comments to between 30 seconds and two minutes each, unless your coffee-mate asks for more.

Tip #3: Be looking, also, for ways that you can help the person you are interviewing (the 3-1 rule). If you think of things, mention them briefly (“That makes me think of an article you may like, can I send it to you later today?”) and return to your format. Obviously, follow through on what you promise (this will speak volumes about you as a potential mentee).

So, basically you are on a “first date” with this person. If it seems to be going well, and by that I mean the other person is engaged and you seem to click, ask for a second “date.” By this I mean one of two things: (1) ask if you can meet them again for another chat, in a month or two, or (2) ask if they would be willing to help you with a specific issue or project. (“Would you be willing to give me feedback on my demo tape/blog/brochure/etc.?”)

If you already have a decent relationship with this person, it may make more sense to start with this request, rather than the informational interview. As I said, these are guiding principles, not a playbook. At any rate, the point is to start with a specific and limited request.

6. Baby steps, baby.

Keep asking, and giving; after a while you may have a mentoring relationship without ever uttering the phrase, “Will you be my mentor?” If the relationship is strong enough, or if the person seems interested in mentoring, you may actually formalize the relationship with this question. However, it may develop without it just fine.

Will you need to keep up the 3-1 rule, after this? Yes – but it will look somewhat different. At this point, part of your “giving” is (1) being enthusiastically open to receiving feedback or advice, (2) showing that you have the initiative to act on their advice and create results, and (3) showing how much you appreciate their investment in you with thank you notes and the like. Providing direct value like networking referrals will only be part of the mix (albeit still an important one).

7. If the answer is no, let it go.

Remember that “no” is a gift as well. In the long run, that person would not have had their heart in it. Look for the person who is enthusiastic and willing.

Good luck! Let me know how it goes.

Do You Need a Mentor, Coach, or Consultant? Find Out Here

Part 2 of 4 in the series Finding a Mentor

People might think I’m crazy for recommending mentors so much. After all, wouldn’t it put me out of business if every person had one?

On the contrary, there are important differences between mentors, coaches, and consultants, and the services they provide. In fact while we’re at it, we’ll add one more to the list: counselor/therapist. If you know how they differ, you can pick one and have the best match for the kind of support you need at every stage of your career (and life in general).

Take the following mini-quiz below to find out what kind of professional you need most.

(1) Do you have a specific task you need done, with a high learning curve?

If so, you may need a consultant. A consultant is someone who is paid to share his or her proven expertise on specific topics, often for a limited time (until a measurable outcome is reached or for a set time, for example). A consultant says, “I recommend you do it exactly this way” – or, “Let me do that for you.”

This is helpful if you don’t know how to do it yourself, have limited time, and don’t have much room for the usual mistakes-while-you-learn. For example you may hire a consultant to design your website for you, or do payroll.

The benefit? You are paying for this person’s undivided attention, and should expect to get it. And, you can reasonably demand results, again because you are paying for it.

The drawback? Consultants can be expensive. (In fact, the good ones should be.) And, after the consultant is done you still may not be able to do that particular thing yourself, that you are paying them to do.

(2) Do you feel stuck in the past, or unable to function in daily life?

If so, you may need a counselor/therapist. A counselor is someone who helps you resolve the past (i.e., a traumatic event) or overcome issues that prevent you from living a reasonably normal life. Counseling may involve grief counseling, marriage or family therapy, therapy for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), addiction recovery, therapy for anger or anxiety management, or more serious mental issues (such as clinical depression or bipolar disorder).

This is helpful if you have trouble keeping jobs, keeping relationships, or experiencing the pleasures of life. It is also helpful if you are experiencing flashbacks or hallucinations, or wish to overcome an addiction.

The benefit? A trained therapist can help you overcome a personal difficulty that you are having trouble overcoming yourself, and get back to enjoying life again. Your therapist can also help you get an official diagnosis for your problem, get access to social services or connect you with someone who can proscribe medication if you need it. Many therapists also take health insurance.

The drawback? Although counseling/therapy may be what you really need, you will need to “face” your issue and that may be difficult at first.

(This, however, should not be a reason to avoid getting the therapy you need. Of the four services listed here, I consider this one the least “optional” if you really have a problem. Enough said.)

(3) Do you feel stopped by an obstacle, either professionally or personally?

If so, you may need a coach. A coach is someone who helps you get a new perspective, seek out tools and resources, so that you creatively overcome the obstacles in your way. A coach helps you think new thoughts on an old problem, set goals and be accountable to them, and generally helps you see your way out of the forest. A coach says, “Let me help you to do it yourself.”

This is helpful if you don’t know what the answer is to a question (for example, “what should my next career be?”) that should only be answered by yourself. It’s also helpful if you keep running into the same roadblock over and over (for example, “I want to start training for a new career but I never seem to have the time/money/courage.”) Unlike therapists, coaches tend to focus on the present and the future (rather than resolving the past).

The benefit? With a coach, you get control over the outcome or decision, because it’s yours to make. Also, you will leave the experience with confidence in your competence – in the end, you made it happen, not the coach.

The drawback? Although coaches are good motivators, you have to be willing to do your own projects and “homework” between coaching sessions for coaching to yield results. (If you are highly motivated this may not be a drawback.)

Note: My business is a blend of coaching and consulting; I believe this is what career-changers and job-seekers need most. See here for more.

(4) Are you more interested in a long-term relationship with someone in your field, than with a guarantee of specific results?

If so, you may need a mentor most of all. A mentor is someone who acts as a role model, a professional sounding board, a reassuring I’ve-done-it-so-you-can-too person. Mentors share their personal stories, and their wisdom and suggestions based on those stories, in order to help you along. A mentor says, “Let me tell you what I’ve learned.”

This is helpful if you would like ongoing, low-density support (i.e., whenever you can both make time). A mentor is very helpful if you want support and ideas from someone who knows your industry or profession. It’s also a good fit if you are budget-conscious (there is little cost beyond travel to meet, and perhaps a shared meal).

The benefit? A good mentoring relationship can last years, if not a lifetime, with little financial cost.

The drawback? Since most mentors are volunteering their services, you have to find one that is willing to commit to you. This can take more time and effort than hiring a consultant, therapist or coach. And, since most mentors are not trained “as mentors,” there is no guarantee of specific outcomes. What they have to offer is more like the Play-Doh right out of the can; you have to shape it to make it fit what you need.

Having said that, a good mentor is invaluable and the benefits outweigh the challenges. I recommend finding one if you can.

Q. So Michelle, which one of these is best?
It really depends on your situation and your need. These different professionals play different roles and provide different benefits. In fact, you may end up working with several of these professionals at the same time.

Q. Can’t I find someone to do all of these things for me?
Yes, and no. Some professionals play several of these roles (one colleague of mine is a licensed therapist, provides consulting for health-care agencies, and mentors her new staff) but not necessary with the same people. Some therapists will have counseling and coaching clients. Some coaches will offer consulting. Some consultants will mentor protégés, and so on. Usually you will have one primary relationship with a given professional.

You may have a secondary one, provided it is not against their code of ethics. For example as a coach I may offer some consulting to a client on a limited basis. However, a therapist will not offer therapy and mentoring to the same person.

Q. Great! So how do I find the right mentor for me?
That, my friend, is the subject of another article. Stay tuned.

 

Want a Mentor? Five Questions to Ask Yourself First

Part 1 of 4 in the series Finding a Mentor

Have dreams of finding the perfect mentor? You’re not alone. Many people want a mentor, and with good reason. Mentors can help us avoid the potholes in the road, make those big leaps of faith a lot less scary, and help our careers go farther, easier. As a career coach I highly recommend that you find one if you can.

But first: you need to prepare a bit. Asking someone to mentor you is somewhat like going steady: it’s a commitment of the head and heart, for you and for that person. They are going to give their time and their emotional energy to your success. You want to make sure it’s right for both of you.

So here are five questions to ask yourself. Give them some thought; brainstorm your ideas to each one first, then polish them down into short answers you could give to someone if they asked.

(1) What are my top mentoring needs?

Why this is important:

  • Mentors need motivation. How clear you are on what you need, and how big the scope of your need is, may influence whether someone says “yes.” Potential mentors will want to believe they can be successful giving you what you need before they’ll say yes (let’s be honest, why would they bother otherwise?).
  • Time is precious to mentors. If you can show that you’ve thought this through, the other person will be more confident that you are worth the investment of their commitment.
  • YOU may need several mini-mentors. You may discover that you need one person to mentor you on topic X and another person to mentor you on topic Y. (See my upcoming article on mini-mentors for more on this.)

How to do it: Ask yourself...

  1. Why, exactly, do I need a mentor?
  2. What do I hope to learn?
  3. What are my overall goals and dreams, and how am I hoping a mentor will help me get there?
  4. Do I need a mentor to help me learn skills specific to my trade, to create networking opportunities for me, to help me work on my personal skills (such as confidence, appearance, or elevator pitch), or something else?
  5. From all this, what are my top one or two needs this year?

(2) What kind of person am I willing to take advice from?

Why this is important: Part of being mentored is allowing your mentor to tell you to do things differently. But our egos are pretty attached to who we are right now, so it can be easier to take this counsel from some people than others.

Think about all the people you've worked with and you'll probably find examples on both sides. Personally, I've had supervisors, colleagues, clients, even staff on my own team that could give me constructive criticism in a way that I readily accepted. On the other hand, there have been one or two people over the years who's feedback I always resisted (even if they were sometimes spot on).

Why is this?

A lot of it has to do with delivery. For example, if someone approaches me with a tone that says, I'd like to help you out by drawing your attention to this, I find I am much more open to the information.  I prefer information (when you do X, the result if often Y) over judgement (you're making the wrong choice). I also prefer a person who is willing to make me a partner in crafting the new course of action, rather than simply telling me what to do.

Bottom line: While you can learn to accept feedback from anyone - and in fact that's a good workplace skill - it's ideal to choose a mentor whose style naturally fits your own. Since this is a relationship based on goodwill (rather than payment), the better it feels, the more you both will invest over time.

What kind of mentor are you willing to take advice from?

How to do it: Try thinking about a person in your life that you have liked getting advice from in the past. What about this person’s approach or way of being made it so enjoyable or accessible for you? Be as specific as you can.

(3) How do I prefer to receive feedback and advice?

Why this is important: This is more about the delivery method than the tone. Some delivery methods are more comfortable for us, while others are jarring. And once again, this varies from person to person. We tend to deliver feedback to others in the way we ourselves would prefer to receive it.

Read that twice; if you remember nothing else from this article, remember that! You can’t expect your mentor to know what you need and magically deliver feedback in the way you prefer. So, you need to either (a) pick a mentor whose preference matches your own or (b) teach your mentor how you prefer to receive feedback.

How to know? Try this:

How to do it: Write down the answers to each of these questions:

  1. Do you want feedback in person, or in written form so you can consider it privately before talking to your mentor?
  2. Do you want it in-the-moment as it occurs to your mentor, or do you want to schedule a time for it so you can feel “ready?”
  3. Do you want feedback to be offered, unsolicited, or do you want the person to wait until you ask?
  4. Do you want direct advice, or do you simply want the person to tell you their experience, letting you draw you own conclusions?
  5. Do you want theory and research (“this is how 80% of startups market their businesses”), or do you want step-by-step, how-to advice?

Special note: You may not know the answer to these questions, yet. (I find that many people cannot recall having gotten good, solid, constructive feedback to consider as a model.) If this is the case, ask a potential mentor how they prefer to deliver feedback, and see how it sits with you. You might also let your mentor know you are still learning about this, and ask if it’s okay to state your preferences as they become clearer.

(4) What are my core values?

Why this is important: If you are going to feel that you mentor is steering you in the right direction, you need to share a significant number of core values with this person, because values influence every decision we make. Your mentor’s counsel needs to steer you in the direction of your core values, not away from them.

For example, let’s say you are expanding your business, and will need a few employees. If you listed “flat, egalitarian organization structure” and “decisions by consensus” as core values, but your mentor values a more hierarchical, the-boss-is-always-right structure, the advice this person gives you in this realm will not be a fit for you. (And vice versa.)

Interesting tidbit: Once you answer this question, you will notice that it affects the answer to the other four. For example, people I readily accept advice from tend to have collaboration and consensus as core values - like me.

So…what are your top five core values?

How to do it: Brainstorm a list, then prioritize your top five. Also, see if you can separate them into personal values and work or business-specific values. (If you are having trouble with this, let me know. I have a great method and can help you develop your values list in two coaching sessions.)

Important: Remember that your potential mentor may not have a polished list any more than you do at this moment. They may need some time to articulate their own if they have never been asked to do so before. So, put it out there as a question (“Hey, are we a fit?”) rather than a test (“Are you good enough for me?”). This is just professional courtesy and good karma, regardless of whether the mentoring part takes off or not.

(5) What are some of the ways I can give back to my mentor?

Why this is important: As I’ll talk about in another article, it’s important to give back to your mentor in whatever way you genuinely can. This builds goodwill and will help both of you to feel that the relationship is a partnership. Sometimes, a mentoring relationship starts when you offer to help the person you want as a mentor.

How to do it: Of course, you won’t know exactly how you can give back until the relationship unfolds. For example, you may realize you can connect your mentor to someone you know to help them, only after they share an issue they are working on. Or, you may come across an article down the road that you realize they would like.

For now, just generate a generic list of possibilities. What skills do you have? What topics do you know about? What kind of network do you have? Where have you helped people before? This list will prime the pump – and get you in the mindset of looking for ways to help your mentor.

Final Thoughts:

Doing a little self-study is an important way to prepare yourself for the mentoring experience. You’ll be more likely to ask the right person, to get their willingness to be a mentor, and to make the most of the time you have together. With a little preparation, and the right approach, you can create a rich, rewarding mentoring relationship that benefits you both and lasts for years to come.

Let me know how it goes, okay?