Top 5 Do's and Don'ts for Meeting Your Mentor
Congrats, you’ve booked yourself a BLIX mentorship session with a leader of the field you’d like to get into. What’s next? Read on to learn how to get the most out of your meeting. It’s important to remember that the BLIX mentors you’re talking with lead busy lives with days filled to the brim with meetings. They do not have time to chase you, and will not appreciate having to. Setting yourself off on the right foot will really set you apart - and perhaps be the start of a fruitful mentorship journey. It’s important that as the mentee you demonstrate ownership and proactivity. It’s an opportunity to showcase your leadership. Booking the meeting Check your mentor’s LinkedIn and Twitter to see what their expertise is. This will help you get the most out of the time you have with them. When using Calendly, make sure to check that a method to talk is included - Meet, Zoom, phone. Whatever it is, make sure it’s included. It is on you to make sure that you are able to speak. Now that the meeting link has been included, start to think of an agenda. What do you want out of the meeting? If you’re not sure, just think of three bullet points. Bonus points if you send them to your mentor ahead of time. This allows them to know better how they can help you and can come prepared. Remember to not be too informal before you’ve met your mentor. That might be their style - or it might not. It’s better to err on the safe side and be professional in your communications. Ahead of the meeting Do not send more than one email if your mentor is late. Sending a polite reminder a few minutes after the start time, with a link to the meeting, is appropriate. Don’t use bold, italics or all caps. Unusual emojis could be seen as fun and playful, but if you don’t know the person you’re talking to they could be misinterpreted. If you are going to be late, email your mentor ahead of time and apologise. If you’re going to be really late, feel free to ask to reschedule. Whatever you do, don’t leave them to sit there - and if you are any more than three minutes late, apologise for the delay when you come online. Optional but recommended: dress for the job you want. You don’t have to wear anything formal, but make sure you are wearing something appropriate for the call. Bonus points if you have an interesting background. Avoid having your bed in the background or being backlit. During the meeting Relax and enjoy it. Turn your camera on and be engaged. Be your sparkling self and allow the conversation to flow. If you’re nervous, having an agenda there will help you navigate the meeting. Remember to take notes, be curious and at the end thank your mentor for their time. After the meeting Connect with the mentor online - LinkedIn, Twitter, whatever works. Your meeting is just the beginning, you can get so much more out of your session by staying in touch. The type of person who volunteers to mentor will likely want to stay in contact and see how you progress in your career. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain by writing a thank you note on LinkedIn and adding your mentor. These rules apply for more than mentorship sessions, use these for any time you’re meeting someone new in a business setting - job interviews, new managers, performance reviews. Good luck and happy chatting :) Top 5 do’s and don’ts DO... Do: Provide a meeting link. Do: Think of questions ahead of time - or even send an agenda. Do: Be on time - and email to let your mentor know if you’ll be late. Do: Think about how to best present yourself - camera on, dress appropriately, be somewhere quiet and have a fun background. Do: Follow up afterwards - thank your mentor and connect online. Don't... Don’t: Be afraid to tell your mentor what you want to get out of the meeting. Don’t: Be late - and don’t send more than one email if the mentor is late. Don’t: Use too many emojis or informal language before the meeting. Don’t: Have your bed in the background of the call. Don’t: Drop off the face of the earth afterwards - stay in touch.