A trusted mentor is a great tool to have in your professional arsenal. Mentors help a mentee achieve career goals, identify gaps in skills, and provide a boost of encouragement and empowerment when it comes to personal development.
The benefits aren’t just felt on the side of the mentee, either. A mentor can benefit by developing leadership qualities, improving their own personal development, and gaining insight into effective coaching strategies.
Thinking of mentorships you’ve been involved in professionally, how many grew in a remote-only environment? Although it can be a unique environment to nurture a relationship, it can be very successful when done remotely by following these steps.
- Determine Desired Outcome
What exactly do you want out of your mentorship? If helpful, make a list of problems you have and would like guidance navigating. For example, if you are a working parent trying to balance life and work, looking for a mentor with experience in that department who can offer advice might be beneficial. If there’s a certain technical skill you want help developing, find a mentor who can help get you there.
- Embrace Remote Networking
Put yourself in a position to connect with people both inside and outside your company, and general industry. If you’re more comfortable connecting with someone through a friend or colleague, ask them for an introduction or find someone through your alumni networks. And don’t feel like you have to limit yourself when it comes to social media networks. You can look for a mentor on all different platforms.
- Consider Mentorship Style
Everyone is different when it comes to their managing or mentoring approach. Different teaching styles might mesh well with you or might not. Make sure the goals you have mirror those of the mentor you choose when it comes to the guidance they can provide. Are you someone who needs positive reinforcement, or are you someone who excels when challenged in a strong manner? It’s good to honestly ask yourself these questions before choosing a mentor.
- Choose & Ask the Question
Take a look at who checks the boxes for what you are looking for in a mentor. Once you determine who would be a good fit, make a list of top candidates and prioritize them. Pop the question to your top choice first. The list gives you other quality options if your top choice isn’t able to provide mentoring.
- Define Parameters
One thing that needs to be discussed right out of the gate is the timing that will go into the mentorship. Ask your mentor what frequency is best for them when it comes to having regular chats or check-ins. Your mentor has other responsibilities on their plate, so it’s important to make sure timing is discussed because you don’t want to overwhelm or bother them.
- Pay it Forward
Give your mentor credit when credit is due. Usually, mentors are not paid for the time they sacrifice to put into guiding a mentee, so shout your mentor out. As a mentee, if you have influencer power on social media or within your company or industry, use it. You never know how your words and testimony can help pave the way for your mentor’s career. Also, remember that it’s important to not only give the mentor the credit they deserve on a larger scale but thank them personally, too.
Have you been looking for a mentor remotely, or are you wondering how you start that process? On the flip side, are you a mentor providing guidance remotely? Either way, join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out What Are Hiring Managers Looking For On Your LinkedIn Profile.