The importance of Mentorship and how to get the most out of it
Mentorship has always been discussed as a controversial topic. Even though everyone acknowledges its importance, very few understand its real essence and take the right actions.
The business world has become and is becoming more and more confusing. The traditional paths are not paying off as they were in the past and new jobs are entering the market every day. In such a fast context, the importance of mentorship remains the same; it just changes in the way it works. Here are my five advices on Mentorship:
1) Mentorship is not only asking for advice. It’s about establishing a long lasting relationship.
Too often people reach out to establish a contact and get a one-off advice, for example, when it comes to a new job offer. Despite the fact that it may still be useful, it is not the best way to get the most out of it. Having a Mentor means having someone to have regular conversations with, someone who knows you time after time and who is in the position of contextualizing the advice you are asking for.
2) Your motivation is what Mentors’ are looking for.
This slightly depends on the type of people you are speaking with. In my experience it’s not difficult to find mentors, even when you are not directly related to that person. People are happy to give (back, if possible) and their satisfaction is to see determination, motivation and results in the person they are helping. Be angry and grateful, this is all Mentors look for.
3) You shouldn’t see having a Mentor as a fast-track.
You have to be honest; if you are asking a senior person to become your Mentor, you have to believe that his mentorship will benefit you and you have to be sure you will learn. Of course it’s your chance to be visible and make others’ know you better, but your conviction should come first. Don’t be sneaky, it won’t bring you anywhere.
4) Ask, ask and ask.
Business evolves fast. A lot of today’s most common jobs didn’t exist 10 years ago. In this uncertainty, the only thing you can do is ask to learn and be curious. Your Mentor is a resource of information, but you won’t understand the importance of all of them during the conversation. Wait a bit, the knowledge you acquire will be relevant at some point.
5) Don’t trust everything you are told.
I learnt that it’s not a matter of good or bad advice, but mostly a matter of how that advice applies to you. It’s very likely that you receive two opposite advices from two mentors — no worries, it’s normal. Instead of taking the advice as it is, try to understand the vision your mentor has and how that advice helps you align to that vision. Then take your decision.