Self-Mentoring and Understanding What you Want in a Mentor

A little over two years ago I wrote a blog post about journaling for self-mentoring and have been promising to share my favorite mentoring tips on Mademoiselle Scientist. Today I decided that it is time for me to share my mentoring tips and start my May Mentoring Series. I hope you find this information helpful and if you are a recent graduate or know a recent graduate check out my recent graduate series.

Even though the spring semester is coming to an end now is a good time to start thinking about finding a mentor. This is a good time to network and meet people because there will be many social events going on campus and in the community. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you do not find a mentor right away because it takes time. Throughout my journey as a woman in science I had many types of mentors and have learned a lot from my mentoring experiences. Mentoring like any relationship is a partnership and commitment.

Self-Mentoring and Understanding What you Want in a Mentor:

1. Update myIDP tool:
As you may know I am a huge fan of the myIDP tool. I enjoy staying organized, reevaluating and updating my goals and the myIDP tools helps me do that. When you update the myIDP tool you will be able to see what things you need to talk to a mentor about and what things you can solve by self-mentoring.

2. Use your resources:
There are many resources available and many of them are free. Use the internet as a resource to find what you want in a mentor. Find articles (Levo League), blogs (The Thesis Whisperer, Science Mentor and Tenure, She Wrote) and people (Dr. Amy Freeman, Dr. Monica Cox and Dr. Renetta Tull) that are doing what you would like to do. This is a great way to find out what career pathways you want to explore. If you want a more hands-on approach check out my recommended books on my useful book list and seasonal reading lists.

3. Remember your role:
When you self-mentor you are playing a double role. You are a mentor and you are a mentee. Think about the strong points you want in a mentor and focus on using these points as a way to self-mentor. This will help you be a better mentor to others and help you find the right mentor when the time is right.

4. Talk to yourself and listen to yourself:
With all the noise, stress, and frustrating elements of everyday life we can get wrapped up in things that don’t matter. Sometimes when we are really stressed or frustrated we forget what we really need. Self-mentoring will help you discover what you are looking for in a mentor.

5. Be accountable:
If you have a problem, use the resources around you to solve your problems and ask for help. Remember you are the CEO of your career path. If you want to see results and see your career goals unfold check on yourself on a regular basis.

6. Seek new opportunities:
If you want to make an impact in your career the time is now! Volunteer or take a new job or an internship to learn about a position or new field. This will help you find out what you like, dislike and truly find the career you are looking for.

Now you are well on your way to go on some informational interviews and find a new mentor. By the time this mentoring series is over you will have what it takes to find a mentor and be a mentor. Stay tuned!

Bonus Tip: What is your Number #1 Tip for Self-Mentoring and Understanding What you Want in a Mentor? Share below.

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