Getting to Know Your Mentor
Whether you are assigned a mentor or seeking out a mentor, one of the first things you need to do is to learn information about your mentor. There are two types of information that you will need to know.
- Demographic information: Where your mentor is from, personal interests/hobbies, experience, career interests, etc.
- Personal information: This is information that helps you understand your mentor’s personal values and how your mentor thinks.
The demographic information is necessary to know because this information will help develop a connection with your mentor. But the most valuable information is of the more personal type. Think about how useful the following information could be to you:
- If you had a chance to do over your career (college or professional), what would you do differently?
- What have you done that you are especially proud of?
- What skills are the most critical ones for me to develop?
The above questions are just a subset of questions you could ask to get information from a mentor that reveals who they are, but they also provide very valuable guidance.
For a young professional, you need to have a set of about 10 questions you use with any experienced person. You will get valuable insights from these questions. You will also impress those you meet with your reaching out to them for guidance.
It also helps to capture the answers to these questions in a notebook so that you can refer back to them as your career unfolds.