Mentoring is such a beautiful privilege and opportunity! It could take you miles beyond what you can imagine! You can sit on the shoulders of one more experienced. You can even get connections! It’s beautiful! Everyone should have a mentor in their life!
But wait! What’s this thing with mentees? Too often, a mentee’s view of a mentoring relationship is a very parasitic one. The one where they want to suck and gain all they can from their mentor without any thought of contributing anything back.
WHAT I THINK A MENTORING RELATIONSHIP IS
It’s a two way thing. Mentor learns, mentee learns. Mentor helps, mentee helps too. Do you think your mentors don’t have MENTORS in their lives too? Nobody is above learning my dear and let me tell you this, whenever someone agrees to assist me with my life, to help me put my puzzles together, I am eternally grateful! Always be grateful for those who made you confident.
Mentees don’t seem to understand that they have to chase after their mentors. Dear mentee stop waiting for your mentor to call you please. These people are busy! Sometimes they don’t even remember you. Life is such a hectic thing. Pursue your mentor. Let them know you are alive! Show them you want to learn, be enthusiastic about this thing! Let them think of you first when there is an opportunity and you too think of them first when you have an opportunity for them. Don’t ‘sha’ be a parasite!
You must respect your mentor’s space. Respect whoever decides to help you fix your puzzles. In as much as I said chase after them, you understand I didn’t say chase like a donkey. Don’t ‘come and start’ becoming too familiar that it gives room for insults.
Allow me to share this personal experience, one time my mentor Ms. Esther Eshiet who runs the Afterschool Center for Career Development in Calabar, where she organizes the Global Women Mentoring Women Walk yearly, asked me to call some mentees to find out how their mentoring relationships with their top notch high profiled mentors were going. The different stories I heard were disappointingly sad.
“My mentor is too busy for me.”
If you are paired with the personal assistant to the Governor of the State, you should naturally already know that this is a very busy person but a God-sent opportunity. It doesn’t mean that you should give up after one or two calls and she tells you she’s busy. Send her email updates about your progress. Tell her your next steps of action. Let her know you have been working on something as well.
See… nobody wants a liability mentee oo!
Show her and give her tangible reasons to help you. Don’t just tell her that you want to start a business. Show her that you’ve started it or are ready to start it and that you have XXX customers but you need AAA resources. Show her something! Something to help you work on! Be serious about mentoring relationships please!
Also, please help your mentor back. Tell him or her you’d love to help arrange files, deliver a letter, work on a project for her, contribute ideas, just help your mentor back! Don’t be such a parasite. And stop expecting your mentor to call you all the time because they probably won’t. Instead call them, send emails, updates about your progress. Do it professionally too if you can. Ask how your mentor is, congratulate her, care about her too, it’s not all about you being at the receiving end 24/7. Just be moderate and respectful.
Please, mentoring relationships are like gold. Use your opportunity well.