Seeking out a mentoring relationship can be a great tool for professional growth. Finding the right mentor can take time and a bit of forethought, but should ultimately help you with valuable guidance and support as you navigate your career.

Today is International Mentoring Day and January is Mentoring Month – a month devoted to amplifying the benefits of mentoring and how helpful and important it can be.

We face many challenges in the workplace and during our careers, a good mentor can help to support you with advice and by sharing their experience.

As a mentee, it is important to be clear about your goals and what you wish to achieve before you start working with a mentor.

What insight do you want to gain from a professional perspective?

What are your long-term goals?

It is also important to be committed and ready to learn.

Value your mentor’s feedback, listen and be open to advice. Try to demonstrate and relay back to your mentor the steps you have taken to implement the advice you have been given.

Here are our 5 tips to remember when working with a mentor:

1. Be clear about what you are looking for in a mentor - be specific about what you want.

2. Look for different perspectives in order to open you up to new skills and ideas.

3. Understand your goals and what you are hoping to learn, look to the long term.

4. Reach out to your existing network, attend networking and industry events.

5. Value feedback. Find ways to reflect back what you are learning.

Do you have any experiences to share as a mentee or as a mentor?

How did you connect with the right person? What did you learn and what advice do you have for fostering a successful mentor/mentee relationship?