Having a great mentor can make or break your career and dreams. We all brush elbows with great people at some point in our lives. How we utilize these relationships can be the difference between success or failure. No one makes it in today’s world alone and when a helping hand opens up, take it.
If you have a mentor, that person is likely more experienced than you. They’ve been through all the pitfalls and traps. They can tell you where the danger spots are and teach you how to avoid them. Mentors can also pass on knowledge, processes and procedures so you don’t have to invent everything as you go.
Mentors don’t always have an index of vital information that they know they need to give you to help you succeed. By asking the right questions you can get the information you need to succeed from your Mentor. For example, your mentor might have a very specific morning routine and meticulous coffee brewing ritual. While this might be interesting, it is probably not as useful as knowing how they closed big contracts or learned how to network.
You can ask anything you really want to know about your industry, field or professional life in general, but sometimes mentors are pressed for time and you only have a small window to get the information you need. So here are four proven questions to help you get the information you need to succeed:
- What do you wish you’d known about the field before starting in it? (This is a great question to lead with. Take lots of notes and you can avoid mistakes your mentor made and save yourself lots of heartache.)
- Who do you feel are the best employers in the field? Why? Are there any you’d caution me to stay away from?
- Do you have thoughts on the best things I can do to stay current? What should I read? Which Organizations should I join? Who should I try to talk to? (ask if they can put you in touch with the people they mention.)
- Do you think I’m being realistic about the roles I’m aiming for in this next step?
Especially, if you are just starting out you need a mentor. Mentors can speed up your career exponentially by acting as a guide and providing you with roadmaps to win. You might be walking directly into a pitfall and a mentor can show you how to avoid it. Getting advice from somehow who walked the path before you opens up all sorts of doors to winning processes and shortcuts.
And remember, just because you are talking to someone who isn’t really your “mentor” they might have valuable information that will help you in your career so fire these questions away at people who are successful and you might be surprised at the answers you get.
Mentor Resources can help any company to leverage technology to create tailored career development programs that are cost-effective. Our mentoring software - Wisdom Share is a cloud-based program that is simple and comes with guided workflows. Included are tools for administrators to attract, enroll, connect and guide participants. We also provide analytics to ensure you can monitor your employee development program and easily see ROI metrics.
Reach out to us today for Free Demonstration of our software.