What mentors want
Mentorship is a fascinating and rare thing. The best mentors are able to provide the proper support and guidance to accelerate people’s careers.
So how do you land one of these mentee positions? How do you find a mentor?
Well I think there are a bunch of different things here. The first is the distinction between formal and informal mentorship. You can learn a ton simply from your friends, people older/younger than you ~ really anyone ~ especially when you carry an open mind.
Formal guidance, however, is a bit different. I see this as an opportunity to engage with someone and be transparent. You need advice and that is why you are contacting them. You want there help.
It is always valuable to consider the situation from the other side. In this case, we think, why would a mentor want to dedicate her/his time to talking to us?
There, we find out how to build our own ask for help. And really is not that hard. If we think about people in general, the first need they really want is attention.
Most mentors want a stroke of ego. That is why people love sharing advice ~ it goes back to feeling important and impactful. Everyone wants to feel important.
But the best mentors, often times, have lots of people making them feel important already. Why would they still talk to you? Well, you need to present them with a unique, unreplicable opportunity. And how can you find a unique case.
Well. Take a look in the mirror. Because you are the differentiator. You have to “sell” yourself on being the best mentee possible.
So what does that look like?
Surely, it is different for every mentor. But I’d bet that most mentors root their decision in one thing: who is that person and how likely is my help going to really help them.
Most mentees will take advice and not do much about it. Mentors want to give advice to people who are going to 10x their careers.
Those are the really unique opportunities. That is where mentors want to spend most of their time.
Originally published at Jordan Gonen.
Exported from Medium on February 17, 2018.