Are your prepared for your next meeting with your mentor? If you haven’t mapped out what you’d like to learn from them, this time can often become somewhat obsolete and nothing more than a catch up drinking coffee or enjoying a bite to eat. With no disregards towards the occasional sit-down discussing the latest in news and life, we have found that there is sometimes more to be said to make the most of this time.
Finding a mentor is the first step. If you haven’t done that yet, click here. This tends to be someone you hold great respect for… maybe it’s their drive for success that gains your admiration or their humility to care for others that sparks a new drive in your heart. Whoever you consider a mentor, it is our hope that you will learn from them.
So while you are building a relationship that, based on your arrangement, may last only a few sessions, but hopefully for your whole career, we want to help you become a better student of your mentor, taking advantage of the powerful opportunity you have before you to meet with them and gain insight. You may already admire this person but there are many pieces of professional advice you may never know unless you ask. We have provided valuable questions that you can ask your mentor and build on to that relationship.
- What do you wish you knew at my stage?
- What does a typical day look like for you?
- How do you create your goals?
- What do you pride yourself on?
- What were your biggest failures?
- How would you recommend I get started?
- Do you have any constructive feedback for me?
- What’s one thing do you still struggle with professionally?
- When can we meet again?
- Who else should I get connected with?
Each of these questions provides a great opportunity for your mentor to share advice and input from what they have gained from experience. Not only listening to their mistakes but understanding their goals will teach you more about reaching your own goals.
Some of the questions used were complied from the two following articles: 12 Questions You Should Ask Your Mentor ASAP and 12 of the Most Powerful Questions You Can Ask a Mentor. By clicking on the links you can find further information to meaning behind each question. We chose our favorites and will be using them at our next meeting and hope you will too!
In addition to finding a personal mentor, we have also conducted our own interviews to share with you, to help you get advice from a number of professionals. I’ve included a list of professionals below and a link to those interviews below for “virtual mentorship” from our career and leadership series:
- Christine Jones– Attorney, CPA, political candidate
- Sharon Guynup– World Renowned Environmental Journalist, TEDx Speaker
- Dr. Robert Warren Cromer– Family physician of 60 years, Veteran, Outdoorsman
- Justice Marsha Ternus– First ever female Iowa Supreme Court Justice, Attorney, Drake Graduate
- Dr. Robert Kodama– Emeritus Professor in Psychology at Drake University
- Jenny McClendon, PA-C- Physician Assistant, former reality TV Star from Raising Sextuplets, Works in Urgent Care and Telemedicine
- Dr. Robin Blackstone– Bariatric Surgeon
- For a full list of our virtual mentors, scroll over the Outlier Series tab above and over the various book titles. Each menue title will show you the various outliers featured and how to access their interview. Enjoy!
Once you find a mentor, don’t forget to thank them for all they help you with! If you need a template for a thank you note, check out our Thank Your Mentor blog here. Also, if you are looking for a mentor, check out this blog for information on finding a mentor.