Mentoring is all about intention, visibility, and putting your goals into the world.
It is a priority for top leaders and is linked to increased levels of pay, improved career satisfaction, and more opportunities for career growth (1,2,3).
It is a major step in finding the pathways that take you and your career in the direction you want/desire. Take control of where you are heading and be clear on how you are going to achieve it.
Now is the time to take the leap. Set your intention for the next five months. Commit to your goal and be accountable for how you get there. (Acorn Network has created a great goal setting guide for you right here)
Before your first meeting reflect on …
- Who you are, your goals and passions. Make sure you are clear on why you want this person to mentor you
- Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses and what you will bring to this relationship
- What do you want to get out of these meetings? Why did you sign up for this program?
- Have you identified your strengths and weaknesses? (click here)
- Review your expectations of what a mentor means to you and think about what you would like in a perfect world from you mentor. Think about what is realistic, so you know what you are asking 😃
- Go through the Mentoring Agreement before your meeting.
This reflection is vital if you are to nurture and cultivate these mentoring relationships for the long term. Not only helping you be clear on your goals, but they also let you think about your ideal mentor relationship – essential for any long term professional connection.
If you’re nervous about your first meeting, these tips can give you some ideas on how your first Acorn Mentoring Meeting might go ...
- Introduce yourself and have a good chat getting to know each another
- Thank them for connecting with you through the program
- Give a brief overview of your professional milestones and (where appropriate) personal highlights e.g. did you go trekking in South America? Were you a monk or Naval sailor for a time?
- Talk to your mentor about their passions/interests. You can even ask them why they volunteered to be an Acorn Mentor!
- Go through the Acorn Mentoring Agreement
- Talk about the goal/s you would like to work on over the next five months.
- Make sure you respect their time and keep it to 1-hour duration, or if you feel the time is running away ask if they are OK with going a bit over time.
After the first meeting, it is a nice touch to ...
- Connect on LinkedIn (if you haven’t already)
- Send them an email/MentorLoop message
- Share a highlight of the meeting
- Reiterate the next steps and when you will complete these.
- Reconfirm (or schedule) the next meeting and when you will be in contact next to share the completion of your tasks
Remember it’s up to you to initiate and drive these connections.
Good luck on your Acorn Mentoring journey. If you have any questions pop through an email to email@example.com
- Allen, T., Eby, L., Poteet, M., & Lima, L. (2004). Career benefits associated with mentoring for protégeé: a meta analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89(1), p127-36.s, “Career Benefits Associated with Mentoring for Protégés.”
- Dreher, G., & Ash, A. (1990). A Comparative Study of Mentoring among Men and Women in Managerial, Professional, and Technical Positions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 75, p 539-546.
- Dreher., G. & Cox (Jr.), T. (1996). Race, Gender, and Opportunity: A Study of Compensation Attainment and the Establishment of Mentoring Relationships. Journal of Applied Psychology, 81, p297-308.