Mentors Shouldn't Overexert Themselves
The world doesn't have enough dedicated, hard working mentors. As a mentor, it's great if you put a lot of effort into your protégé. However, don't overstep your limits when it comes to mentoring. Every mentor should have the right to their own personal time: don't let your mentoring relationship rule your life. Try to find a good balance when it comes to mentoring, and make sure that you are spending the appropriate amount of time with your mentee.
Work With Your Mentor On Your Resume
Your resume is the first thing that your employer reads about you, so it's essential that it creates a good impression. Mentors can be a great resource for resume improvement; work with them to make sure that your resume shows you in your best light. Don't forget to update your LinkedIn profile to match any changes that you make!
More Mentoring Activities
We've provided lists of mentoring activities before, but here's another great one that we found online. Varying what you do with your mentor or protégé can help make your mentoring experience more rewarding and interesting. This list provides a number of great ideas to help you on your mentoring journey: http://www.gtmentorjackets.com/activities
Seize Mentorship Moments
Throughout your day there are countless opportunities for mentoring, the trick is being able to recognize and act on them. Any time in which you interact with another more experienced individual, such as in an elevator, after a meeting, or in the hall, can be transformed into a "mentorship moment". Take advantage of these moments to help you learn how to further your academic or career goals.
Make Mentoring Part of Your Schedule
A key to successful mentoring is frequency. Regularly schedule meetings with your mentor or mentee, and try to make mentoring a routine. Treat mentoring as part of your job and not an extra activity; making mentoring a priority will guarantee a more successful mentoring relationship.
Follow Best Practices
When entering into a mentoring relationship, take advantage of the thousands of guides, studies and articles on the topic. There exists a wealth of knowledge online that can be utilized to improve your mentoring experience. In fact, we have our own list of online mentoring resources for you to use: http://mentor.unm.edu/online-resources
In formal company or organization run mentoring relationships, mentors need to be provided dedicated time in which to facilitate their mentoring relationships. Simply adding mentoring to their existing workload without giving them extra time is a recipe for a rushed, unsuccessful mentoring relationship. Mentors need regular protected time to ensure that their mentoring relationships are successful.
Mentoring does not have to limit itself to senior individuals mentoring younger ones. Reverse mentoring (which occurs when an older person is mentored by a younger one) can be a great way to improve workplace skills. Younger individuals are often more open minded and in tune with technology: an important combination in this modern, fast paced world.
Many people forget that even the most senior among us can benefit from mentoring. Often mentors in high positions are assumed to be too knowledgable to need another mentor. However, even these individuals can often benefit from a mentor during a change in career focus or professional path.
Mentoring, although rewarding, requires dedication and hard work. Corporations can reward mentors through promotion or mentoring retreats. Academic institutions can hold dinners for their mentors, or provide them with extra conference funding. Making mentors feel wanted is important to the success of any mentoring program, and encourages mentors to continue their work long into the future.