Now that you are a mentee in the ACG Mentorship Program and have been matched with an accomplished and respected mentor… what’s next?
What are you supposed to talk about?
Are there any questions that are “offside”?
How often do you meet?
There is no right or wrong approach to participating in a mentorship relationship. There are, however best practices, which will support you in making sure the relationship gets off to a good start and gains momentum. Refer to the list below for some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your ACG mentee position!
During the initial “meet & greet” conversation, ask your mentor what sort of meet-up schedule would work best for him or her. This includes chatting about the frequency of meetings as well as the best time to meet (before work, lunch or for drinks). Consider whether it would be best to pre-schedule meetings for the next 6 months or just schedule the next meeting as you go along. Taking the time to discuss what works best will help ensure there are fewer cancellations and reschedules during the year, and therefore ensures there is no lost time.
ARTICULATE YOUR GOALS
Clearly articulate what you want from the mentorship relationship – your mentor wants to know how she or he can be most helpful to you.
Are you looking for direction in your career?
Are you looking for a new way to enhance your skills?
Do you want support on how to prepare for an upcoming interview?
Are you having an issue with a boss or coworker and need advice on how to approach a conversation?
Your mentors are in the unique position of having no direct “job” oversight over you which positions them very well to provide candid advice, feedback and support. Being open with your mentor about your goals will ensure that you get the most out of this program.
Your mentor is a highly respected community leader and was hand-picked as both a role-model for the program and as your mentor. Before diving into deep conversations, it may be helpful to focus your energy on organizing your thoughts and concerns you wish to speak about. Not only will this ensure that your time is spent wisely, but will also help you with clearly articulating what you really want to get out of the mentorship relationship. Remember that both yours and your mentors time is precious so best to make every meeting count for something!