Time spent with a mentor is valuable. So, make sure that it’s time well spent. One of our active mentors — Gerhard van der Poel, Director-Structured Finance, ING — recently shared his thoughts on how proteges can maximize their mentorship “returns.”
- Don’t be impatient with the process. You are seeking help, but it may take time to reach answers. Remember…it is a process.
- With an important topic, be willing to explore it inside and out. You need to clearly understand your goals and obstacles and limitations – both personal and external.
- Don’t be shy. This is an open relationship. It’s your opportunity to discuss career-related issues you wouldn’t feel comfortable discussing with your manager.
- Be open to new approaches and techniques your mentor might suggest – even if they are outside your comfort zone.
- Be organized during your session and take notes. You might brush over what seems to be a minor point early on that could be extremely important to your overall success later in the process.