Globalization Specialist for Korean Startups

Why you need to set mentor expectations


When you are working towards your goal it is reasonable that you cannot know everything there is to know about how to achieve them. While it’s possible to learn the necessary skills, it takes time and usually a lot of money.

Mentors are a great way to get some help to achieve your business goals.

What is a mentor?

A mentor is someone who has already achieved similar goals as yours.

The arrangement you have with a mentor can be an official one, or it can be an informal one. Mentors have experience and have gone through the growing pains to acheive success. They know what training  or skills you may need to develop.

Importantly, mentors can give you feedback on what you are doing right and wrong during your development and this kind of advice is invaluable.

But many mentors and mentees forget is to set mentor expectations. There is no point having a mentor who is going to hold you back, so make sure you are both comfortable with the mentor being completely honest with you.

Most worthwhile mentors will have no problems doing this for you. It may sometimes be a hard to swallow, but it is better than having mentors who sugarcoat your progress. That isn’t going to be much help.

The mentors you choose should have the experience and skills you are looking to learn. So you need to ask lots of questions about what they expect from you and for them to make it clear what you can expect from them. Setting these mutual expectations is important. Otherwise, you won’t know whether the mentoring is really working for you.

If someone you are considering as a mentor has objections to you asking these questions, this may be a sign they are not right for you. It can also be more difficult to sever the relationship once it has begun.

Should you pay for mentors?

It depends on what resources you currently have available and what you plan to receive from the arrangement. If, there is someone who can act in a mentor capacity and they are willing to do this for free, then consider it. But there are benefits in payinge. Paying for someone to help you lets you hold them accountable. This is a crucial aspect of mentoring. Without it, you could be left spinning your wheels, and not being able to move forward.

Whatever you do don’t waste time as the reason to get a mentor is to save time in getting you ahead in your development.