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  • Writer's pictureWomenCareer&Life

Season 2 Intro: Mentorship for Success

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

Mentorship is a topic we talk about often as we think and discuss about our careers. Many people have helped us with their advice and ideas to advance in our careers. We’ll look at different types of mentors, how to find them, get the most out of the relationship, and ideas to give back to a mentor in this episode.

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Each podcast has a few takeaways at the end. We have encoded them into a cypher for fun and to make it easy to remember! Each cypher has a set of clues that you can use to break the code. Our cypher for this episode on mentorship for success is MENTOR

Mentorship For Success

M - Meet a mentor

Do you have a mentor? Have you asked someone to be a mentor? Mentors can come from various backgrounds, it can be your boss who is challenging you to grow higher, it can be the manager 2 levels up, it could be someone you met at a conference from a different company or it could be a peer who is helping you navigate some critical challenging situations. You don't have to stick to a "mentor" label but is there someone guiding you on conversations about your career? If you don't have a mentor "Ask" someone if they can be your mentor.

E - Educate yourself

Are you familiar with the SWOT tool? If not check out this resource. Write down your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and let that guide you on what you want to do. Ensure it aligns with your interests. This will help you understand your own needs and also set you up for a great conversation with your mentor. They will appreciate the work you have put in.

N - Nurture the relationship

Like any relationship invest your time and nurture it. Be open, be honest and build trust. Ensure that your conversation is honest and a safe space. Listen well, take notes, and think through how you can act on the ideas or suggestions that come up in the conversation. Communicate your progress frequently and share your results. Have you planted the right seeds and are you watering regularly?

T - Take time to prepare

Value your mentor's time. Prepare for the meeting- it could be discussion points, a problem you are struggling with, a pitch you want to review, personnel issues, career progression, whatever it may be. Feel free to take a checklist or Powerpoint to the discussion. Your mentor will be happy to know that you took the time to drive the best conversation possible. This also will give you clear insight into where you need help and advice.

O - Organic conversations

We talked about structure and preparation. Every conversation does not need to be this way, remember you are getting to know your mentor as a person so let the conversation be organic. You can talk about what shows you are watching, your family or a good book you read that you think might interest them. There is no one set formula, like any relationship it's between you and your mentor to navigate.

R - Reciprocate to your mentor

Give back to your mentor. There are many ways- highlight an opportunity that syncs with their experience, share improvements your organization is driving, a book or show you liked or the latest relevant innovation. If you can't think of something, "Ask" them how can you help them. Mentors may request feedback on how an organization is performing or request feedback on a new policy that has been deployed.

Food for thought. Episode takeaways

Here is today's food for thought,

  • Mentors come in all forms and shapes. We can choose formal programs and formal relationships or even colleagues or managers at work.

  • It helps to set yourself up for success by preparing well and also providing context for your discussions with a mentor. I think the SWOT analysis or any other tool that helps to set a context for yourself, will be very helpful.

  • We can all give back by becoming mentors at actually any stage in our careers. Going back in time and saying thank you to the mentors or finding some opportunities we can help them with is a great way to give back too.

So, go ahead, try the SWOT analysis or find a mentor if you don't have one, or even volunteer to be a mentor. Just don't swim alone, especially if you're going through a big change in life or at work.

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