Do you participate in a mentorship program? Whether it’s through your employer, professional organization or university, these relationships can be meaningful but it takes work. At some point, you’ll be the mentor or mentee – either way, you have responsibilities to make the relationship a success. Many mentorship programs have guidelines on how to establish roles and responsibilities – basic information such as determining how often to meet and what to accomplish. It’s important to follow these guidelines and manage your expectations for the relationship.
One of the ways many mentors and mentees interact is over breakfast or lunch. Everyone has to eat so this concept is convenient. But conversation can be limiting when your relationship is new or not strong. Instead of meeting over breakfast or lunch, re-energize your mentorship by doing other activities. These activities will allow you to share experiences and give you something new to discuss.
For example, consider attending a professional networking event together. During these events, mentees can learn by watching their mentor interact with colleagues. Mentors can use the opportunity to reconnect with colleagues by introducing their mentee. Both mentor and mentee benefit from this type of interaction.
Other activities to consider:
Attend a local event (sports, art exhibit, university lecture)
Role play networking, interviewing or difficult client situations
Discuss and review online reputation
Mentorship programs work only if you the participant make time for it. Re-energize your relationship by participating in activities other than eating breakfast or lunch. Also, make sure you are not expecting too much from that one relationship – read Why One Mentor – Build an Advisory Board.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter and as a financial advisor. Her services include spending plan, financial plan, divorce financial review, life strategy and professional progression. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me’.”