“Work with a mentor” is right up there with “maximize your 401K contributions” and “no more than one drink at the office holiday party” on the list of common advice given to young professionals at the beginning of their careers. Harder to find are answers to questions such as, What is the best way to build a mentor relationship? How can you make the most of your interactions? And how can you sustain a meaningful connection over time?
But I’ve found that it’s the mentees who consider these questions who make the most of a mentoring relationship. Mentorship functions best as a project that two people work on together, rather than a lecture series for which only the mentor is responsible.