Starting Out as a Mentor

Tips for Finding a Mentee and Beginning a Successful Mentoring Relationship

By the EACE Mentorship Sub-Committee

Mentorship is an invaluable component of professional development, but getting there can be easier said than done. EACE provides a self-directed Mentor Network to help members who are looking to find a mentor or be a mentor find a match. Want to draw on your experience and what you’ve learned along the way to mentor another professional, but not sure where to start? Follow the steps below to join the Network, find a mentee, and build a positive relationship!

Finding a Mentor/Mentee

  1. Join the EACE Mentor Network: 
    1. Make sure you have opted into the network from you member profile. Review here.
    1. Complete the form fields and check “Yes, I want to be included in the EACE Mentor Network” at the bottom of the page (if not already checked) and click Submit.
  1. Search for a Mentor/Mentee:
    1. Go to the EACE Member Directory.
    1. Scroll to the EACE Mentor Network search section of the Member Directory, select the criteria you are searching for in a mentee, and click Search.
    1. A list of members fitting your search criteria will appear. Click on a member's listing to view contact information and get started building your relationship! 
  1. Contact Your Potential Mentee: Reach out with your request using the contact information provided. Alternatively, you may receive a request from a potential mentee.

  2. Found a match? Update the Directory:
    1. Log in to your profile and click Edit in the box containing your profile information. Scroll down to the mentoring options and uncheck the box that says, “Check below to appear in the Mentor Network search directory as actively searching for or accepting new mentor or mentee requests. (UNCHECK TO REMOVE).” Make sure to save your selection. Recheck the box if you want to rejoin the mentee/mentor search.

Starting the Relationship

Mentees are encouraged to “drive” the relationship by suggesting times for the first meeting, sending calendar invitations for meetings, and proposing topics to discuss. They might also share their goals and explain what they are hoping to learn from you. As the mentor, review your calendar and determine when you will be available to meet. Let your mentee take the lead on setting up meetings and suggesting topics.

However, you should both know and discuss your goals for, or what you are seeking from, a mentoring relationship. Set realistic expectations.

Plan for a strong start by establishing your shared goals and logistics. Talk through questions like the following during your first few meetings: 

  • When and how often will you meet and what means of communication will you use?
  • For how long will you maintain the formal mentoring relationship (e.g. sixth months, one year, or more)?
  • Do you both want to keep your conversations strictly about professional matters, or are you comfortable speaking about your personal lives? 
  • How will you keep track of goals and progress?

Get to know each other! Tell your mentee about your experience and career path, your own goals, some of your professional and personal interests and passions, your motivation for becoming a mentor, and anything else you would like to share. Listen to your mentee’s story. If you are both comfortable, share your birthdays and any significant events or milestones that are coming up.

Stay tuned for tips for maintaining and closing your mentoring relationship in future editions of the EACE Update Newsletter. The Mentorship Sub-Committee hopes that members will benefit from this resource so that we can support each other in professional growth at every level. If you have any questions, please contact the Mentoring Sub-Committee Chair.