Wherever you are in your career, seeking out a mentor is a great way to boost your career and expand your network. In fact, 75 percent of executives say mentoring plays a major role in their career — and 95 percent of Millennials just starting out their careers want a mentor. Through your mentor, you’ll likely meet new people, learn new skills, and maybe even find new job opportunities.
Sounds pretty straightforward, right?
Well having a mentor doesn’t guarantee automatic success. Being a mentee comes with responsibility and takes care to create a successful relationship. And it can go south fast if you’re not careful.
So make sure you aren’t scaring off your mentor and consider the following behaviors to avoid:
1. Being vague with your needs.
Be specific about what you need from your mentor. These needs could include professional development, access to opportunities and networks, desiring a role model, or even just a safe space to discuss experiences or career issues. Don’t expect your mentor to know or understand automatically just by reading your resume and meeting you. Otherwise, neither of you will gain anything from the relationship and you’ll likely just frustrate them.