Whether you are launching a business, navigating a career change or exploring a new industry, mentoring can give you insights and offer support when you need it. Mentoring also holds you accountable and grants you access to unique events and people. But the benefits of mentoring come with responsibilities. You have to be committed, dedicated and work hard.
With a clear goal in mind, you can achieve great things. We asked three participants in the Femme Palette Mentoring Program for women what they think makes a good mentee. Hear about their learnings.
- What our mentees think you should do:
- Dedicate time to mentoring
- Be open, honest and direct
- Clearly define your goal(s)
- Ask questions
- What our mentees think you should not do:
- Be afraid of change
- Have a vague goal in mind
- Forget to put in the work
- Ignore your responsibilities
Aneta is the Head of Communications as SAKO Brno, a.s. and a Femme Palette Mentoring Program Alumni.
Having completed almost half of the mentoring program, I already started noticing the improvements in my professional and personal life. Throughout the program, I have altered my goal, and so, I think that the key is to have an open mind. Accept changes as they come and don’t be afraid to continuously update your plans.
The most crucial part is to go ‘full-on’ and dedicate the necessary time to mentoring. My mentor gives me homework which I must prepare for prior to the meeting. These tasks push me forward. I would also recommend being honest and direct with your mentor. Don’t be afraid to admit that you don’t know something and openly share your opinion. Similarly, say if you don’t feel comfortable with a particular task or a question, together you will find a solution.
“Accept changes as they come and don’t be afraid to update your plans.”
Every mentee should realise that they are doing it primarily for themselves and that the mentor serves as a mirror to their opinions, plans, and dreams. One must be prepared to embrace something new. The ‘aha-moments’ don’t just happen in the mentoring session, the questions and ideas are arising constantly, especially outside of the meetings with the mentor.
In the past, I used to attend interesting talks or workshops, but never applied my learnings into practice. Soon after I would forget what the learning outcome was. Now it is different. I love the way this mentoring program is structured. The girls from Femme Palette find you a mentor that is the right just for you and the regular meetings help you stay on the right track.
Viktoria works as an Operations Internal Analyst at WOOD & Company. She is a motivated team player who consistently aims to push expectations and exceed her goals.
In the case of a mentee, the most important thing is to clearly define your goals right from the start - with a specific intention in mind.
The quality of the mentor-mentee relationship depends on the personality of both. Based on how well they understand each other and can cooperate, they can achieve the mentee’s goals.
I now find myself in a situation when, after a long period with one employer, I decided to make a change - of the employer as well as the industry. My mentor has experience with HR, which I find particularly useful, and helps me navigate through the current job market.
I have the opportunity to ask my mentor direct questions about the current work opportunities and we discuss what is available to me. I extremely value her opinion and she gives me great advice and suggestions.
“I have the opportunity to ask my mentor direct questions.”
Jacky Angie Negret
Jacky is a Project Director at KT Global Insights and a freelance event manager and coach in public speaking.
A good mentee should be willing to learn and put in the work. Sounds obvious, but it’s true. Also, communication is very important.
To get the most out of mentoring, one should be open and honest with the mentor. Whether it’s your goals, expectations, even discussing fears. Mentors are great but they aren’t mind readers, no one is. By having this transparency, you’ll be able to be on the same page with your mentor and s/he can mentor you accordingly.
Through the mentoring program, I’ve learned that if you really want to accomplish something, you’ll do it and having the right support is so beneficial/crucial. Sometimes all we need is that extra push or source of accountability to get you closer to your goal. Great things are never created alone.
“If you really want to accomplish something, you will.”
Mentoring is working with people and thus, there is no one solution that suits all. But in order to make the most out of your mentoring experience, be prepared to dedicate sufficient time and energy to it. The mentor serves as a support and a source of accountability for the mentee, but it is not their responsibility to define what the mentee wants to achieve. And so, before you join the mentoring program, sit down and:
- Clarify your goals
- Prepare to be committed
- Make space in your diary
Once that is done, you are on the right track to meet your goals and become a great mentee.