WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A MENTOR

You have graduated and your ideas are bursting at their seems. The energy you bring to any conversation is valuable and you are driven to make a difference. Any interaction you have with someone on the other side of the fence - established career professionals, recruiters is one highlighted with enthusiasm and a can do attitude that is focused on solving problem.

 

The passion is unbeatable. Most passion without direction often leads to a feeble outcome and not an outstanding one. So why after all the theory is there a need recognised for a career mentor?

 

Organisations these days, invest heavily in mentoring programs.

 

How can the mentor/ mentee relationship be one based on genuine relationship and not just a tick in the box? This article examines some of the concepts that drive a good mentor/mentee relationship.

THE RELATIONSHIP

The mentor/ mentee relationship needs to be an authentic. It is one that should be based on trust. There needs to be a ‘mutually get along’ factor between the two. Without this chemistry, it will just be another relationship. The relationship should be one of comfort that helps individuals break out from their ‘jobs’ to get the full benefit from each other.

CHARACTER NOT COMPETENCY

Run away from a mentoring program that is focused on up-skilling you. The mentor program is not about up-skilling. It is one where the mentee realises the need to grow and the mentor is committed to investing the time in peeling back the layers of one's character. The growth is individual and character focused and not one that revolved around competency.

LOYALTY TO MENTEE

The mentor takes on an informal commitment - one that brings the best out of the mentees ‘character’. The mentors role is selfless and is one about creating an environment that enables their mentees to thrive based on their skill.

CLARIFY WHAT YOU NEED1

Wanting to have a mentor is a wish-list on deaf ears. It is important to recognise the actual need you might have at the stage of your career and accordingly seek the mentor. As you can imagine, a lot of conversations will lead you to the right mentor, considering there is more than just the need to have a mentor you need to be considerate about.

MIND YOUR MENTORS TIME2

Good mentors are efficient. They are used to managing more than one task at a time and are stretched. The fact that they are willing to invest their own time for your purpose should be an indicator strong enough for you to be mindful of your mentors time. Being mindful of one's time goes beyond punctuality. It could be being well prepared with the objectives you want to achieve through the meeting with your mentor. If you have some work you need reviewed, then be mindful of the time pressures and not demanding.

 

The trust, vulnerability and openness with your mentor is a relationship you need to preserve and grow with. You have invested significant amount of time over several coffees in finding the right mentor - make it count.

 

The MGSM Alumni Association recognises the value its network delivers. The group of professionals who sit on the other side of the degree, recognise the value of mentorship. We have been through a mentor/ mentee relationship and it is an ongoing process. Hence, Macquarie University has engaged with MGSMAA whereby the Alumni Association will provide mentoring sessions to recent MGSM graduates. Our first session is scheduled for May 8th and we look forward to opening up the world and along the way learning.

People always gain value out of your experience. Come and join the association and be part of something bigger with like minded people.

1 https://hbr.org/2017/02/what-the-best-mentors-do

2 https://hbr.org/2017/11/what-mentors-wish-their-mentees-knew

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