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Mentee: Who, What, When, and Why?

January 6, 2021
3 Min Read
Photo by
Janis Andzans

Are you about to embark on a mentor and mentee relationship? Before you get started, it's vital to have a clear understanding of the role of a mentee.

Before we dive in, check out our coaching skill guide! Take a look at examples of leaders, coaching do's and don'ts, and professionals that can benefit from this skill.

Mentee who?

Who can be a mentee? Anyone! When it comes to pursuing a mentorship, there's no restriction. The ideal mentee is someone who has a strong inclination to absorb and learn.

The ideal mentee...

  • Shows commitment and proactiveness
  • Embraces a growth mindset
  • Values and welcomes constructive feedback
  • Takes on challenges
  • Listens actively
  • Upholds interpersonal skills

Essentially, a mentee has a long-haul mentality. That means putting in the work to achieve your long-term goals. A major part of being a mentee is learning and practicing new skills that may take you out of your comfort zone.

Mentee what?

If you’re curious about mentee definition, it means someone who is willing to learn from a senior person. But what does a mentee do? It’s all about crossing all the t’s and dotting all the i’s.

  • A mentee encourages knowledge-sharing. A mentor's role is to pass down knowledge, but the role of the mentee is to keep that information flowing. Asking questions, researching, and reaching to one's network will help expand your knowledge pool.
  • A mentee sets SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely) goals. Having long and short-term goals creates a sense of direction and organization for career aspirations. This is where you put in the elbow grease.
  • A mentee asks for continuous feedback. Since a mentor-mentee relationship is voluntary, it's vital to be proactive when asking for feedback. There's no such thing as an annual preview, so ask for areas of improvement on a regular basis.

Mentee when?

There’s no specific age or time when you should take up a mentorship. But, it’s recommended to taking a mentee role earlier in your career.

For example, internships are for long-term mentorships. These mentor can guide you early on and provide rare career opportunities. However, if you're further along in your career and switch jobs, you can find guidance within in your new team.

Take a look at how TED speaker Elaine Montilla share the secrets of mentorship and the valuable insights for professional growth.

Mentee why?

There are various benefits of becoming a mentee. First, mentees gain valuable advice and tips from experienced mentors. A mentor is someone who is personally invested in you. They're a source of wisdom and a model of positive behavior. The best part is they're doing all this voluntarily! As a mentee, you're expanding your knowledge, building your professional network, and growing your skills from someone who really cares about your career aspirations.

Food for thought

A mentee is a fruitful role. While the mentor disseminates vital information, provides support, and encourages growth, a mentee develops the skills, mindset, and attitude needed to achieve their professional goals. In a sense, a mentee is gathering the characteristics of a future mentor.

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