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Top Tips for making the most of mentorship

So, you’ve found a mentor… now what?

Mentorship can be a fantastic way to navigate change, identify and improve skills, explore new ideas and get meaningful feedback. However, mentorship isn’t a one-way street: be sure that you are putting in the time to make the most of mentorship.

  1. Find your mentor’s “super power” 
    When you meet with a mentor, be sure to prepare in advance. What does that particular mentor bring to the table that you want to tap into? Have they gone through the career change that you’re considering, hired someone in a role you’re interested in exploring, or have training that might be relevant to you? You can find mentors in any area you need support, but it’s important to know what their super power is, so that you can benefit from it.

  2. Show up and follow up
    Mentors are often volunteering their time, so it’s important to honour that by showing up on time and being prepared. As you speak with your mentor, there will be things that come up for you to do on your own after meeting, so it’s very useful to take notes throughout. Maybe they suggest a course or reading some particular content to learn more about a topic. Or maybe they have a skill-building exercise for you to try.

    Whatever “homework” comes out of the meeting, do your best to complete it, and reach out with questions along the way. Then book a follow up! The mentee-mentor relationship is meant to be an ongoing relationship. They are there to help shape your path forward and to support you in making change. They are invested in the outcome and want to know how their advice has served you.

  3. It’s not just for youth
    Mentorship isn’t just for the beginning of your career or a career transition, we all benefit from mentorship. Mentors can help you identify ways that you may want to grow professionally, and can point out opportunities that you didn’t realize were available to you. They are also a great resource for figuring out how to ask for a raise or a promotion. Unbiased support is extremely valuable at any stage of your career; they can help you build confidence and set small goals that help you move towards big change.

  4. The more the merrier
    Having a few mentors in your life and career is great! You probably don’t want so many that you can’t meaningfully engage with all of them. As mentioned above, mentors all have areas of expertise and we rarely just need one to get us through our careers. For example, at the beginning of your career you may have one mentor who helps you navigate starting a new job and transitioning into the workforce, another who helps you identify areas of growth and improvement, and one who has particular experience in a skill that you want to develop. Later in your career, you may have a mentor who is helping you grow toward a leadership position and a mentor who is helping you navigate the challenges of managing a team.

The mentee-mentor relationship is a valuable one that can grow and change with time. Some mentors stay with you for long periods of time, while others are more transient. No matter the depth of the relationship, preparing for meetings with your mentor and following up can build stronger, more meaningful relationships that can help you achieve your full potential.

Book a free session with a mentor of your choosing, whose background and skill set aligns with your interests. Best of all, mentorship sessions are free and can be done at your convenience, and there are no limits on how many sessions you can book.


Iron & Earth’s training programs are funded in part by the Government of Canada's Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program.

The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.

Post by freelance writer Anna Kobb

Iron & Earth is committed to partnering with Indigenous workers to empower their communities to become self-sufficient in training programs, clean energy transition projects, and employment opportunities to combat environmental racism. It falls to all of us to continue the work of healing and reconciliation in our communities and our organizations. Our relationship with the land and the people who live here shapes who we are. It is in the spirit of reconciliation and honouring the past that we recognize treaties and agreements wherever they are and wherever we work.

We also acknowledge all peoples who live, work, and play on this land, and who honour and celebrate this territory.
As individuals and teams we may make mistakes along the way, but we are dedicated to growth, openness, compassion, and forgiveness. These principles in our work are essential to building successful and healthy relationships with individuals, communities, organizations, and governments.

We look forward to building a path to lead us to a better relationship with Indigenous nations and the environment around us based on peace, friendship, and respect.