If you are a college student, recent graduate or young professional perhaps you’ve become aware that mentorship – and curating mentor relationships – has become a critical element in your career development.
Since mentorship is a relatively new aspect of career planning, made even more important by the continuing issues with our economy, this seems like a good time to talk about the concept in more detail. Specifically, let’s talk about facets of mentorship you should think about as you seek out the right mentors for you.
Here are my top 10 aspects of mentorship you maybe didn’t know… yet.
- We care a lot more about you, personally, than whatever idea you are working on at the moment
- We almost never say ‘no’ to an informal discussion or informational interview (and if we do, it could be that you messed up in building a relationship before you asked)
- We respect hustle and potential more than your GPA, who your parents are or what you want to be someday
- Ultimately we do you a dis-service if we agree with you every time – a mentor relationship must be open and honest
- It is not our job to tell you what to do… it’s our job to listen, point out critical factors you maybe haven’t yet thought of so you can decide what to do for yourself
- We are here to listen all the time – and shouldn’t only hear from you when you’re either ecstatic from your latest triumph or feeling like a failure
- When you say you are going to do something – we expect you to deliver, or at least communicate that you’re running a little late on the commitment
- If it looks like you are going to fail… our job is to help you fail quickly, minimize damage – and learn from the experience
- If it is clear other people are getting in your way – we’re going to tell you to separate them from your ambitions and goals (including your significant other, your best friend from college – even your own mother)
- Mentorship isn’t always about workforce or entrepreneurial veterans working with younger professionals – so we’re going to push you to mentor others… including us (that is how you – and we – learn!)
Mentors, what would you add to this list? Mentees, what is missing from this list you hear from – or maybe wish you did hear from – your mentors?
Mark Babbitt, a passionate supporter of Gen Y talent and CEO and Founder of YouTern, is a serial entrepreneur and mentor. Mark has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Forbes and Under30CEO regarding internships, higher education’s role in preparing emerging talent for the workforce and career development. Recently, Mark was honored to be named to GenJuice’s list of “Top 100 Most Desirable Mentors”. You can contact Mark via email or on Twitter: @YouTernMark.