Becoming a protege (mentee) can be a great way to hit the ground running It’s better than New Employee Orientation. This an ongoing,(not just a few hours) It can provide you with valuable information-could fast-track you to a promotion and that corner office! If there is a formalized program, sign up! If there isn’t one, put the idea in the suggestion box. Then go “shopping” for a mentor. Notice how other employees tend to seek their approval.
A mentor wants to share their wisdom and their accumulated knowledge and experience with someone eager to learn the ins and outs of the business, They want to share this with their protege (mentee). I’m calling it a protege, ok?
Traits That Help Make A Great Protege
- A willingness to listen, to learn and grow.
- Shy or outgoing-you’re a part of he mentoring relationship
- The mentor can’t read your mind! Ask questions and listen to the answers! One of the student mentees in the Career Development Mentor Program I used to run, the student was very shy and a Psychology major with a mentor with a Doctor of Psychology. After being asked numerous times by her willing mentor, she wrote down her wishlist of experiences she hoped to have. Sitting in on an intake was one or her requests. Due to confidentiality seeing an actual session is very tough to arrange. But she got talk with the graduate students who her mentor was supervising. This was terrific as she wanted to go that route! Her mentor also taught Introduction to Psychology at a Community College where she assisted the doctoral student TA (Teaching Assistant). Flash forward-her mentor is semi-retired and the student, now in her doctoral program, became the next Intro to Psychology teacher! They still stay in touch and she wrote her protege strong recommendation letters for both degrees and a reference for the teaching job!
Mistakes That Keep You From Being A Great Protege
- Not showing up/calling when the two are scheduled to meet.
- Being chronically late-says I am showing you no respect,just doesn’t take it seriously.
- Not listening to their mentor-interrupting constantly… Why should a mentor bother? Why be a protege or even have a mentor?
Having the Mentorship experience can be very rewarding as you make a valuable friend. That friend only wants you be successful-someone to “watch your back” in the organization. You will learn and grow. This may fast-track you to a promotion!
And, of course, now you can be the mentor to a newbie in the company. Pay it forward!