A mentor can make a big difference in your career. You want to find a person who is genuinely concerned about helping you succeed. Surprisingly, there are many people who wish you well, and can help you learn the ropes within your organization.
A mentor doesn’t do the work for you. Instead, they provide guidance, and ask you to consider different ideas or angles that you might have missed. It’s important to find someone who has extensive experience in decision-making, especially related to your organization and industry.
There are times, however, when a mentor is causing you more headaches than providing assistance. In some cases, the mentor turns on you and is more interested in seeing you fail. You must quickly identify this issue, and resolve it.
Here are three signs you should buck your mentor:
#1: You can’t reach your mentor.
A mentor should have an interest in helping you. To do this, he must be available. Of course, this doesn’t mean that he will be at your beck and call, but the mentor should return an email or telephone call within a reasonable time.
If your mentor goes several weeks without getting back with you, it’s time for you to move on and find someone else to serve in this role. Of course, we must understand that highly-competent people are busy, and they might forget to get back with us. If appropriate, we can send a reminder, or stop by their desk if they work in the same organization.
#2: The guidance is flat wrong.
I once had an issue with the work requirements assigned by my manager. She was busy, and many times just kept adding to my workload. I did the best I could, but it was tough to keep the pace. I asked a veteran employee for guidance, and he told me the following: “Look … the work is not going to stop. She is basically using you to do her work. If I were you, I would quit! It’s time to get out of here! That’s what I would do if I were you.”
This feedback from this so-called mentor lacked substance. The…