Congratulations! You have found a mentor who is willing to work with you! You thought finding the mentor was the hard part, but really, the hard work begins now.
Some people think that the mentor is responsible for setting up the meetings, having an agenda, and do all the heavy lifting. This is not the case. The mentor’s job is to provide space to develop the mentee. The mentee needs to be prepared and ask for what they want or need.
Know what you want from the mentoring relationship
Write down what you would like to achieve from the relationship. Have at least three items and rank them in order of importance. Also list what you will bring to the relationship and what concerns you about entering into a mentoring relationship.
Do your homework
For your first meeting, know the background, experience, and value that your mentor can provide. Have a few questions prepared. It doesn’t matter how fancy the question is. For future meetings, have your actual homework done. If your mentor has asked you to update him or her before the meeting, do so at least 24 hours in advance.
Throw in some variety
Sometimes you can talk about goals and dreams. Other times talk about how to best approach a situation or an event. Sometimes a mentor will allow you to shadow them or participate in meetings. There are different ways to approach your development. Try new things.
Remember to say Thank You
Mentors provide their time and expertise to help you grow. Some have coaching backgrounds and will ask if you received what you were expecting from the session. Some do not. That means it is up to you to provide feedback and say thank you.
If you aren’t enjoying the sessions, it is likely your mentor isn’t either. No one said that it had to be a stodgy event. Sharing your sense of humour and enjoyment encourages you both and will lead to a more rewarding time together.