How to use mentorship to accelerate your professional growth

Have you ever looked at those people who seem to have it together, ask the right questions, share their expertise with confidence and gain access to opportunities you wish you had?

It may appear that they’re unicorns and have it all together, but it’s most likely they have made the investment in their professional development and sort guidance and support from a coach or mentor.

Seeking mentorship is something we strongly encourage, whether that be via a paid coaching service or free through a professional connection.   

From our experience, successful people attract successful people, and to have access to ‘top tier’ mentors, you need to consider what you’re bringing to the table.

To be mentored by the high performers in your business or department, you need to demonstrate that you yourself are a high performer. You need to demonstrate that you’re actively investing in your own professional development so your potential mentor can see the value of spending their time to invest in you.

Think about it, would a CEO with very limited time in the week want to invest an hour or more in a person who is looking for them to solve their problems, OR are they more likely to invest their available time mentoring in a person who actively invests themselves.  Where are they going to get the best ROI (Return on investment)? 

What you can do to position yourself BEFORE you seek a mentor?

  1. Be clear about your goal. What are you trying to achieve? Make sure you have a clear vision of what you’re chasing.  Write it down, add it to your professional development plan and be clear about your intentions for growth with your team leader/manager.
  2. Consider how you’re investing in yourself to reach your goal? What webinars are you watching, what books are you reading and what training courses are you participating in?  Being an ongoing learner is the number one strategy for highly successful people, it continually feeds their skills and expertise toolbox and has them on a consistent growth trajectory.
  3. Evaluate what your current performance reviews look like. Has your manager identified any areas for growth, and if so, how are you progressing with their feedback? 
  4. What are you doing to support others around you?  Are you a good collaborator, are you building networks and professional relationships? Highly successful people invest in relationships, so you should too!

High-performance stand out because they are committed. Whether that be to completing a project to a high standard, their personal and professional development, or being a supportive teammate, they take action and deliver on what they say they’re going to do.

It’s this type of person who executives, CEOs, and in-demand mentors and coaches want to invest in.  So before you invest your time to seek out a mentor, invest time to be the type of mentee people want to invest in.

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