As a planner who “fell” into the meetings industry, I learned very quickly that in order to succeed and learn about the industry, I needed to align myself with those who had experience and insights to impart.
Mentors can be found in a number of places – your workplace superiors, colleagues with more or varied experiences, industry professionals and different companies or in different disciplines. Don’t forget – mentors don’t necessarily need to be older than you – younger mentors have a lot to offer in this age of technology and entrepreneurship.
Getting the most of your interactions ensures your mentor feels like they are making a valuable contribution, and no one’s time is wasted. Here are some tips when pursuing a mentoring relationship.
- Be proactive in finding your mentor – you’ll never receive if you don’t ask. You may have found you’ve fallen into a mentoring relationship; let your mentor know that you’d like to formalize it a bit and report back to them on your learnings.
- Identify your strengths, and areas of opportunity – be honest in your assessment; this will help the mentor provide you guidance in the areas you need it the most. Your mentor may want to know your short-term and long-term career goals
- Set goals after each meeting – follow through on the gold nuggets of knowledge you’ve learned, and let your mentor know how you’ve bettered your situation; they’ll appreciate knowing they helped.
- Be thankful – gratitude goes a long way. Consistently and authentically thank you mentor for his/her time; it’s a precious commodity in today’s world!
Do you have a great success story about a mentoring relationship that helped shape the person you are today? Reach out to me to be included in a future blog post!