January 12, 2017

Mentoring Tips 101

I think today more than ever, mentors play a significant role in the lives of young people. With literally everything at our finger tips it's easy to jump from one degree to the next, this job to that job, these friends to that group. In a culture that seeks to drag us down, there's nothing more rewarding and uplifting than having the mentor support system. 
Picking someone as a mentor should have nothing to do with their name, title, or status. It's about having a genuine connection. Forming a mentor/mentee relationship will be the greatest thing you can do to set your life up for success.
By choosing a mentor, you are saying that you are committed to do whatever it takes to achieve the goals you may have set, and that you are ready to be held accountable to those goals.

| Why A Mentor |

They help you discover your professional & life strengths.
If your mentor works in the same organization as you do and gets an opportunity to work with you, they are able to begin to observe you in action. Over time, they can start guiding you in your performance skills and style. Great mentors don't just tell you things to start "fixing", they ask critical questions that force you to assess your own abilities.

They give you honest & constructive criticism.
Nobody wants to hear correction, because let's be honest having to change and put aside our ego hurts. It's uncomfortable and awkward and yes people might talk. Ask yourself how long you are going to let all those excuses stand in the way between you achieving what you were created to do and become. Mentors are giving you pointers not to hold you down and bring out all your insecurities, but because they see so much potential in you, and if you tweaked a few things and mastered them, you would take off and be an incredible success in whatever you wanted.

They want to see you succeed more than anything.
Your mentor has been in your shoes, the shoes of one just starting out and trying to figure out life and profession. But they have also gotten past the start line, ran their race and crossed the finish line successfully. Now it's their turn to be on the sideline coaching others as they begin their own race. Often times mentors see themselves in their mentee and make it their mission to help them succeed as a way of repaying those in their life that coached them during their own race. They see an abundance of raw potential in you. Now they want to teach you to see it.

They can connect you with fellow professionals in your prospective field.
If your mentor happens to be a professional in your intended field/organization, more often than not they have the connections that could make your career. If you honestly lay out your goals, your aspirations, and who you would appreciate the chance to get to talk with, most good mentors would be more than happy to get you connected with those individuals that could give you some pointers for that career/life path. Be open and honest and you'll get rewarded for it.

They can be a pair of fresh eyes when you're at a crossroads.
Sometimes we can get so caught up in ourselves and what is going on around us that we can't even see that the answer we have been looking for is right in front of us. It takes somebody outside of our bubble to tell us like it is and set it straight. As young adults sometimes navigating life can get a little messy and just plain confusing, but having that solid figure in the form of a mentor could be the key to success that you have been looking for.

| How To Find A Mentor |
It's a natural process.
Most mentorship happens unofficially. It most commonly happens in college because you are constantly surrounded by some amazing successful people. From your professor, dorm R.A., even upperclassmen. Unofficial mentors are all around us, we just need to step out and take hold of the opportunities.
I never had an "official mentor" while in college, but had many people who I admired and often sought counsel from. This happened from professors, alumni who I was privileged to meet, small group leaders, campus chaplain, even the college president (#smallschoolpros). If I went back to some of those people today, they probably wouldn't know the influence they had on my life, because it wasn't a formal mentoring. It was a natural relationship that grew because I was looking and they were willing.

Look at people in your prospective profession.
Although it is extremely beneficial to find a mentor no matter what industry they're in, you'll benefit more from a relationship with a professional within you intended field. They have already walked that path and are just overflowing with knowledge about your dream profession. Take the opportunity to evaluate them and learn what steps they took that put them in the position they hold today.

Pick someone who ignites your passions.
Mentors are there to lift you up and ignite your fire of ambition. Your mentors passion, drive and determination should inspire you. Your mentor should encourage you to chase your dreams, strive for greatness, and learn to become the best version of yourself each and everyday.

Choose some that challenges you in life & career.
The only way for you to achieve success is by daily discipline and accountability, and a good mentor knows this and is constantly challenging you. A good mentor builds on your strengths rather than drawing out your faults.

Most importantly choose someone that you admire, trust, respect and ultimately who you would love to emulate one day.
Keep your standards high even when it comes to mentors. Just because they are accomplished in their field doesn't make them the right mentor for you. Trust your instinct and know what you want out of a mentor and out of your goals.

| How To Be A Successful Mentee |

Be authentically yourself.
Once you found a mentor it's really easy to try and become your mentor. Remember, the only way for your mentor to be successful, you have to be you in all your entirety. Find what qualities of your mentor that you admire and learn to apply those traits to your own life. The biggest gift you can give the world, your mentor, your future mentees and yourself is being you, with all your unique gifts, quirks, perspectives, and connections.

Be coachable.
Mentees who are serious learn to embrace AND adapt their mentors advice. The best mentees know there is feedback they need to hear, not just what they want to hear. Coachable mentees learn to become sponges; they don't let their ego waste any time they could have in learning from their mentor.

Be proactive & diligent.
Mentees are ultimately in charge of the relationship. Good mentors aren't going to waste their valuable time if the person isn't showing any interest. Awesome mentees are always updating their mentor and keeping in the loop especially when it comes to something they were advising them on.

Don't waste ANY opportunity your mentor presents to you.
Listen, no matter what the opportunity is, whether it's a conference call for a dream job, invite to an exclusive event, or just a time ask endless questions from your mentor JUMP on it! Seriously, if you want to be successful now and are serious about this whole mentoring relationship, then you want to be the most prepared diligent mentee ever. They are investing so much time and effort into you because they believe in you. 

Just succeed.
The greatest way you can "payback" your mentor for the value they poured into your life is by succeeding. Set your mind to it and just run after it till it becomes a reality. You have all the tools you need for success, it's up to you to put the foot on the gas.


  1. Love all of these tips! I recently got a mentor I guess you could say and they definitely are such an inspiring person! I've learned so much and continue to learn everyday!

  2. I think both having and being a mentor are great and can really help yourself and others reach goals!

  3. I read this and automatically thought to myself: "Do I need a mentor?" I had never thought of it before, but you brought up some good points on why a person might need one! Thanks for sharing!
    -Anna |

  4. This is awesome, Grace!! I think it's important to always have a mentor and to be mentoring someone else.

  5. Love this post! I have always had a hard time finding a mentor but have mentored many other women. I can't stress this enough as a mentee, have questions! Know your goals! Otherwise it's a waste of both of our time!

    Rachel | The Confused Millennial

  6. I so agree with this! I think someone in your field/profession like you said is a great idea, because they would have so much insight as to how to get where you want to be professionally. great post! x

  7. Finding a good mentor is key! Luckily, my school ran a program to match the student to the right mentor.

    Alix |

  8. Such a great topic! I would love to have a mentor. I have so many questions and often google can't help me! I don't go to school, so it is hard to find programs here.

  9. What fantastic tips and points! I've definitely had mentors in my life for my career field, but I would love to have some blogging ones too :-)

    xoxo A

  10. These are great tips/points! I have some of the best mentors and their help has been amazing in my short career! I can't wait to help others succeed at one point!

  11. Having a mentor is so important but so overlooked sometimes. I am so grateful for the mentors I've found in different areas of my life.