4 ways to nurture a relationship with your mentor

So you have found a mentor or you realize that you had a mentor and just didn't call them that formally. How do you nurture this relationship?

This is the final article in teh #MentorshipSeries. In October I will be starting a new series on #Networking.

At the #MentorshipMasterclass we talked about nurturing mentor-mentee relationships. How do you do that? Here is a snippet of the conversation we had:

Keep your mentor in the loop

Your mentor is invested in your success, otherwise they wouldn't be giving you their time. Mentoring is also just as satisfying to the mentor as it is to the mentee. I always appreciate someone emailing me and letting me know that it all worked out or that it didn't. Take the time to update your mentor on your situation: were you looking for a job and now found one? Did the job fall through? Did you change your career path - let your mentor know so that they can see how best to provide you with further advice or even know that the situation is resolved. Share your news with your mentor both good news and bad news. It will help them see how to guide you further.

Check in when you don't need help

I say this and keep saying this that the cardinal rule to career advancement is relationship, relationship, relationship. Your mentor will appreciate you checking in with them even if it is just to find out how they are doing. Don't only wait for when you need something whether that is advice, feedback or help with an job/school application. Maintain the relationship and when you do need help it will be readily available.

Don't ghost your mentor

So your mentor gave you some advice that you didn't take or you've changed your mind about something you spoke to your mentor about. Don't ghost your mentor, particularly if they are reaching out to you. Ignoring emails, phone calls and texts will only damage your relationship with the mentor. If you have had a change in direction, let the mentor know that you are no longer pursuing the path you had apreviously discussed. This way the mentor will stop bugging you about it. If you chose not to take your mentors advice, let them know that you are considering other options. This will give some closure to them so they stop asking. Bottom line: don't ghost your mentor. Communicate with them.

Take the hint if your mentor is ghosting you

If your mentor is ghosting you and avoiding you, take the hint. You can't force someone to mentor you and while I did mention that it is up to the mentee to chase after the mentor, it shouldn't be a wild goose chase. If you keep reaching out to someone who doesn't seem to be willing nor available to you let it go. They may be a good mentor just not the right mentor for you. After 3 to 4 attempts to pin someone down I would save myself the embarrassment and leave them in peace. They could be too busy or just not presently available for mentorship and that's ok. The mentor-mentee relationship should flow and should never be forced.