image of young woman and man from Shutterstock.
Whether it’s finding a mentor willing to take you on, or finding one who fits your needs, consider yourself lucky if it all works out. So, if you’ve got one, and you’d like to keep him or her, for the love of God, don’t piss them off. Writer Fiona Tapp is gonna tell you how to keep your nose clean.
When I started teaching, I was mentored by an amazingly creative and experienced educator, he taught me so much and made me cry a few times, but I will be forever grateful for his tutelage. Over the course of my career, I have been on the other side of the equation and have personally mentored 10 trainee teachers.
Of those, I had the great pleasure of working with responsive, intelligent, humble and respectful trainees who wanted to learn and improve and checked their ego at the door. I, unfortunately, have also mentored absolute monsters!
Most of us were the mentee at some point and can understand the wish to prove your chops and get on with the “real” work, but learning practically from seasoned professionals is a fabulous and free education, you should be soaking up every word. Especially as mentors usually provide information to hiring managers about a worker’s suitability for a full-time position or advancement.
At the very least your aim should be to NOT piss off your mentor, here’s 10 tips to help you with that:
Be on time, work hard
This isn’t camp, you’re being paid-don’t be tardy, don’t be lazy!
Stop looking at your phone
Even if its research or note taking, it just looks rude to constantly be using your phone in meetings-make eye contact!
Don’t be overly confident
The reason you have a mentorship is because you don’t yet know everything, so swallow your pride and soak up the knowledge.
You may think asking questions makes you look unsure but it actually comes across as diligence and interest.
Accept constructive criticism
An essential part of a mentorship program is reflection and feedback, don’t be defensive-be open to suggestions for improvement.
Learning practically from seasoned professionals is a fabulous and free education, you should be soaking up every word.
Don’t over step your boundaries
In your enthusiasm be sure to remember who’s the boss, don’t overstate your qualifications to clients and don’t make major decisions without approval.
Use your initiative
Conversely, if similar jobs are performed routinely try to do them without instruction, freeing your mentor up for more complex tasks.
Don’t bother your mentor at home
Just because you are excited about your new career and have a burning question at 10pm on Friday night doesn’t mean its ok to bother your mentor, almost everything can wait until Monday morning.
Don’t keep mentioning your degree
At a party or over dinner at your mom’s house maybe waving your degree around impresses people, but when you are in an environment where the base prerequisite to even be there is the qualification you’re boasting about, you come across as arrogant and immature.
Don’t forget that your mentor is investing time and energy in training you, be appreciative of their efforts and say thank you, years from now you may consider their influence to have been monumental.
Never stop learning
Once your mentorship is over do not fall into the trap of thinking you are done with workplace education. Keep reading, keep taking courses, keep improving. You gotta keep moving and learning, after all, stagnant waters stink!
Are you a mentor? Do you have one? What other tips do you have to add to this list? We’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment in the section below.