Discovering Your Strengths as a Mentee

Discovering Your Strengths as a Mentee

Written by Anna Shur-Wilson

Career Navigation

You may benefit from a mentor’s support, advice, and guidance throughout your long career. Many people approach the role of a mentee as passive, where you receive information from a professional role model and follow their advice – taking an active part in your relationship will create a beneficial and productive environment for yourself and your mentor to develop professionally. 

Create Your Definition of Mentorship

It’s an exciting first step to research people you admire and position yourself to create lasting professional relationships. However, before approaching people for mentorship, you should reflect on your motivations and create clear goals.

Identify your current challenges and how a mentor can support you in navigating them. Pinpoint an exact issue you would like to focus on. A mentor is not a magic solution for professional development, but think about how you can break down significant career growth and development questions into manageable tasks. For example, what advice would benefit you if working on a career change? Maybe you want to focus on networking tips or interviewing practice. Remember, a mentor can offer guidance and feedback rather than provide professional opportunities for you.

Be Your Career Project Manager

Support your potential mentor by managing the administrative and logistical responsibilities of the relationship. Think about what kind of schedule and conversations would benefit you and propose a cadence that also works for your mentor’s busy schedule. Taking some items off your mentor’s to-do list (like scheduling calls and meetings, creating Zoom links, or finding a coffee shop to meet) is a great way to demonstrate your investment in yourself and your mentor. Mentoring someone can take a lot of emotional labor, and when you support your mentor this way, it may help maintain the longevity of your relationship. 

Mentorship is a two-way street. Don’t hesitate to ask your mentor how you can support them and which areas they are also interested in growing!


Your mentor-mentee relationships may not last for the entirety of your career. Discuss expectations with your mentor and work together to define expectations and what a successful relationship would look like, including when it would make sense to decrease your check-ins. 

One way to do this is by creating space to reflect alone and with your mentor. Start by keeping track of your goals personally. Since you’ve identified the specific challenges you want to work on, how will you measure your progress? 

You can also propose a schedule, such as monthly and quarterly, to check in with your mentor to take stock of your progress. When you embed reflection into your mentor-mentee relationship, you create a safe space for you and your mentor to bring forward concerns and for your relationship to evolve.

For more mentorship and career advice, join WWCode’s Career Navigation track.