For the Mentee
Mentoring is just-in-time help, insight into issues, and the sharing of expertise, values, skills, and perspectives. Mentors function as a catalyst—an agent that provokes a reaction that might not otherwise have taken place or speeds up a reaction that might have taken place in the future.
Resources For the Mentee
Mentoring is part of the larger process of career planning.
- The resource used in the EDUCAUSE Management Institute, Creating a Professional Development Plan, is a good place to start.
- The Professional Development resource page is an important resource for developing your career.
- Check out EDUCAUSE Career Development opportunities.
The first step in finding a mentor is to identify your mentoring needs. If you have a career plan, you may have already identified specific areas you would like to develop.
Identifying a mentor involves reaching out to others within your organization and profession. If you have identified a specific skill you'd like to develop, you might reach out to those that have that skill or knowledge.
Another key consideration in finding a mentor is to understand what aspects are important in participating in a mentoring relationship. Some key aspects include:
- Self-motivation and understanding of your mentoring goals
- Willingness to accept responsibility for your career
- Openness and willingness to learn and to accept constructive feedback
- Exhibiting trust behaviors and willingness to keep confidences
Questions to Get Started
Ask yourself the following questions to assist with selecting an appropriate mentor:
Who knows me well enough to nominate me for positions?
Who in our organization/profession makes assignments, appoints committees, task forces, and so forth?
Who has the particular expertise that I lack? Who might be willing to teach me?
Who knows the political aspects of our organization/profession? Who could give me good advice on how I might ensure success?
Who knows me and my skills but also is in the know about our organization or profession? Would that person be willing to put my name forward?
Who do I want to be like? Whose style am I comfortable with?
Who do I go to when I need a boost? Who helps me feel that everything will be OK?
Who do I feel comfortable sharing my feelings with? Who do I believe is wise in the ways of the world?
Who do I connect with? Who do I want to spend more "quality time" with?