Working With a Mentor

How to find the right mentor and work with them to improve your career.

Having a mentor can help you to learn how to operate in the world of work. Your mentor will connect you with people and give you the perspective that you need to move ahead. Mentors may provide advice on how to handle situations and people; they will draw from their own body of experience to share insight, wisdom, and knowledge. They will support positive change in your life and will challenge your thinking, thereby expanding the possibilities for you.

However, you will not automatically receive these benefits of the mentoring relationship. As a mentee, the success of the mentoring relationship depends on you. You are the driver of your own development.

If you are serious about learning from your mentor, your frame of mind will be this: I am here to learn, and I am open to new ideas. I am responsible for my own life and for making my own development and career path happen.

Tips for Mentees

  • Be prepared for your mentoring sessions.
  • Establish a mutually agreeable plan for mentoring sessions, including how much time each of you need if a session has to be postponed.
  • Focus on the relationship, rather than outcomes.
  • Ask direct questions about what you most want to know.
  • Practice learning from anyone.
  • Listen with an open mind.
  • Provide context and brief updates to help your mentor understand you.
  • Respect your mentor's boundaries.
  • Follow up on agreements.
  • Say "thank you!"

Looking for a Mentor?

Now that you have read some tips on how to work with a mentor, go look for a mentor in the new ASAE Mentor Connector ( You can look through the profiles of volunteer mentors and find a mentor who can help you in your career path. You can easily search by features including position level, organization type, areas of expertise, and so forth. Go online now and find someone to help you take your association management career and leadership skills to the next level.

ASAE Career Headquarters

If you're looking for the next step in your association management career or looking for high-quality candidates to fill open positions at your organization, check out—the best source of association jobs and resumes. In addition to helping you find your next job—whether it's as CEO, director of technology, or membership coordinator—ASAE's career services department offers such services as executive coaching, resume writing, and more. For more information, contact Catherine Lux at [email protected].

Are there certain career-related topics you would like addressed on this page? If so, please email your questions or topic ideas to [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you!