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Mentorship has had a tremendous impact on my career trajectory, so the fact that you are already thinking about it should set you on the right path.
First, let’s think about what you would be hoping to get from your mentor. Are you seeking a mentorship because you’ve been told you should have a mentor or because there is something you want to work on and only someone with experience or insight would be able to help you grow?
Start by identifying your why.
After you’ve nailed your why, then you can start thinking about your what - as in what experience or expertise would you need your mentor to have. Do you want them to have domain expertise, do you want them to have leadership experience, etc. You need to identify your gaps and then figure our how their experience will help you bridge that gap.
After you’ve identified your why and the what has been sorted out, you can move to your who. The who is pretty important because of the relationship between the mentor and mentee. For example, for me once I determined my why and what, I knew I wanted my mentor to be a female who had strong communication skills and an engaging personality. The “soft” elements made ALL the difference for me and the value and impact I saw from my mentorship engagements in the past.
There are tons of mentor and mentee programs available, especially for Customer Success professionals which is a great place to start, but a lot of relationships even happen organically. Perhaps there is someone in your organization or maybe you’ve engaged with someone on LinkedIn who’s inspired you. Once you find these people, it’s perfectly fine to reach out to them and let them know that you’ve identified them as someone you’d like to have mentor you.
In an effort to make a good and strong impression, it’s important to ask, but make sure to give context and also help them understand what they might get from this opportunity, making it mutually beneficial.
At the end of the day, there is a ton of value in working with a mentor, but make sure to set proper expectations for yourself and your mentor and determine the best way to work together.
Well good for you for getting this far in the interview process! Every hiring manager accesses things differently but if you make it to the final round in any interview process there are a few things you want to make sure you’ve conveyed:
While these might not be the only things to focus on, if you’ve done these well and there is good alignment it should a least leave you as a top contender.
One last piece of advice I’d offer is to always make sure to get feedback. If things did not work out, follow up and ask for feedback. You might learn a thing or two OR just realize that there were better-suited candidates for the role.
Don’t give up. The right role will find you soon enough. Good Luck!
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