Having someone to guide you through your professional journey and support your overall growth is what having a mentor is all about.
Mentors can not only help you set achievable goals and provide valuable insight into your field, but can also help you expand your network and bring new opportunities to your door.
And if you are unsure about your career heading in the right direction, getting a mentor might just be the missing piece you need to gain clarity.
If you have someone in the industry that you look up to and derive inspiration from, you can ask them to be your mentor.
But, how can you possibly do so professionally while being persuasive enough to get a positive response from them?
Read on to get clarity on how to ask someone to be your mentor and related questions like the following:
- What is a mentor?
- What is the role of a mentor?
- How to ask someone to be your mentor?
- How to ask someone to be a mentor via email?
What Is a Mentor?
Although the approach of mentorship has slightly evolved over the years, the idea of having a mentor has been around since the days of Plato and Aristotle.
In simple terms, a mentor is someone who gives you valuable advice, knowledge, and support in areas where you lack experience and wisdom.
A mentor is not necessarily someone who supports only your professional growth but also nurtures your personal development because to achieve greatness and excel in your career, personal development is crucial.
This also means that when you consider someone as your mentor, you must be able to trust their judgments and be open to receiving feedback, which at times can be brutally honest.
Why Do You Need a Mentor?
While it is not impossible to learn something on your own - be it your business fundamentals or any other career aspect, it is a time-consuming and tedious process.
It is always better to have someone experienced guide you and advise you on things they’ve already mastered while you are just starting out.
Another reason why having a mentor is essential is because you can get access to valuable insights that they’ve gathered over the years in just a matter of a few weeks, minus the risks and uncertainties.
Plus, if you are someone who needs external encouragement and help to maintain accountability, having a mentor is critical.
Even well-known celebrities and business moguls like Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Christian Dior have credited a lot of their skills and achievements to their mentors.
How to Ask Someone to Be Your Mentor?
If there is someone who you feel has achieved everything that you inspire to accomplish, a senior professional, or even a friend or family member, you can ask them to be your mentor.
But, simply going up to them and asking them directly to be your mentor might not be the best way to go about it.
Given below are some tips to help you get clarity on how to ask someone to be your mentor:
Identify Your Needs
Before you reach out to your potential mentor, you need to clearly understand what you want out of the mentorship.
Only then will you be able to articulate it in words and communicate clearly when you reach out to them.
Do you need guidance in your career path? Or support to navigate through a particular industry? Or is it a skill that you want to learn?
Once you answer that for yourself, you can approach them with a clear intention.
Take Your Time
Asking someone to be your mentor and cultivating a rewarding two-way relationship can only come with time.
Don’t go all guns blazing on your first interaction and expect them to assume the role.
You could start by asking them out for a coffee and subtly seek advice on a particular topic to begin.
Once you’ve built the rapport, and if they are interested in talking to you more about your career and goals, schedule regular follow-ups and ask them to be your mentor.
You can also leverage social media like LinkedIn to be in touch with your potential mentor and seek their recommendations on books, interesting articles, important industry news, etc.
Build a Case and Be Succinct
When you approach them asking to be your mentor, be ready to communicate your goals and intentions clearly.
No one wants to mentor someone who will not value the provided advice and guidance. Ensure that you show your willingness to follow through and determination to excel.
You can also state your reasons for choosing them as your mentor and show your genuine admiration for their work and approach.
Thank Them for Their Time
Let’s face it - your potential mentor is likely to be someone who is doing great in their career and has accomplished quite a lot, which means they are busy most of the time.
Hence, if they are taking the time to have a conversation with you - regardless of whether they accept your request to be your mentor or not, you need to show respect for their time.
Acknowledge the fact that they are busy and show your appreciation and thankfulness for their time.
With a little bit of courtesy, even if they say decline your request, they might be willing to offer you valuable advice every now and then.
Write to Them
In case you are not all that great with verbal communication and are afraid of missing out on details when you ask someone to be your mentor, you can ask them via email.
However, it is important that you’ve had at least 2 or 3 introductory interactions with this person before sending an email asking them to be your mentor.
Keep the email concise and crisp. Given below is a mentoring letter sample that you can refer to:
It was a pleasure chatting with you about the latest social marketing trends during our last meeting. I really resonated with the marketing techniques you shared and have been implementing your 2-step hashtag approach, which has helped me uptick my metrics.
And as I mentioned during our meeting, I’ve always looked up to you and have been following your career since my college days. I truly believe that my chances of achieving my goals of establishing a marketing firm in the industry will substantially grow if I receive mentorship from someone as seasoned as yourself.
I understand that it is a lot to ask, given your busy schedule, but I would be beyond grateful if you could consider my request to become my mentor.
If you wish to discuss this further, I have some ideas about how we can go about my mentorship. I’m available for a meet-up anytime time that your schedule allows, or you can also contact me at [phone number].
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Also read: How to find a job you love in 2022?
Key Points from the Blog
- Mentors help you set achievable goals, provide valuable insight into your field, expand your network and bring new opportunities to your door.
- Before you reach out to your potential mentor, you need to have a clear understanding of what you want out of the mentorship.
- Don’t ask someone to be your mentor in your first interaction. Build rapport, take your time, and proceed with your question.
- When you ask someone to be your mentor, communicate your goals and intentions clearly and show your willingness to follow through.
- Regardless of whether they accept your request to be your mentor or not, you need to show respect for their time.
- If you are not comfortable asking them in person, consider writing a crisp and concise email asking them to be your potential mentor after a couple of interactions.
Should you require expert guidance on how to ask someone to be your mentor, visit Hiration’s Career Activator Platform with round-the-clock chat support. You can also reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.