How Do I Ask Someone to Be My Mentor?

Simply put, you don’t. Let it grow organically.

As a mentor, I have learned as much by providing guidance to others as I once benefited from the guidance provided to me. A mentor-mentee relationship should be a mutually beneficial partnership between two people, with implied or outlined obligations to one another.

The key to a successful mentor-mentee relationship is to be aware of your obligations and take them seriously. Most of the time you have a mentor and don’t even know it yet.

This rings true with my very first business mentor, Cynthia Porter, a healthcare marketing executive and the first female in sales at HBOC, which is now McKesson. To this day, I have not taken a position in which she hasn’t advised me.

I first met Cynthia when I responded to her job posting looking for a support person to help her with the day-to-day activities of her market research firm. At that time, I was going through a career transition as I was beginning to consider motherhood and took a drastic pay cut to “balance it all.”

When I took the position I didn’t know Cynthia would be my mentor all these years later. Today, I see a lot of early-in-their-career motivated employees seek out mentorship. In fact, I get asked all the time by these ambitious young guns about being their mentor.

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