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

Career Planning

Mentoring is part of the larger process of career planning.

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?