The Rules of Engagement Once You’ve Scored Your Dream Mentor


BYO decorum and talking points.

A man and woman on a couch discussing work

So you sent the email or braved the cold call, and the person you most admire in your field has agreed to be your mentor. Go you! What comes next is very important, and will ensure the arrangement proves effective in helping you reach your loftiest goals.

As you’re the one who requested your mentor’s time, it’s wholly on you to define your objectives, communicate clearly, and think up ways to develop your career or venture outside your mentoring relationship.

For International Women’s Day this week, Collective Hub attended a panel event held by Facebook and Connected Women ANZ. As the name implies, the latter connects women across the tech industry, with the aim of providing learning, networking and mentoring opportunities.

Our founder, Lisa Messenger, spoke on a panel alongside Nicole Sheffield, MD NewsDNA and CEO of NewsLifeMedia, and Emma Jane Newton, ‎Head of Corporate Development and Acquisition Integration at Telstra.

Read More: 5 Tips For Making Your Business Dream A Reality

As mentorship was one of the big themes of the day, we condensed our learnings into a rule book of sorts, to help you make the most of hooking your dream mentor.


1. Mentors and mentees should meet at least once per month.

2. Allocate at least one full hour for each meeting.

3. Make space in your schedule; turn off your phones; find a private place to talk.

4. The mentee must own the process by preparing an agenda and talking points for each meeting.

5. The mentee must trust and place their confidence in the mentor, as well as be willing to discuss issues openly.

6. Ask good questions (this is not to be underestimated).

7. Set an overall goal, such as a promotion or to change job. No matter your objective, make the outcomes clear and measurable.

8. Recognise if and when the relationship is reaching its natural end.

Read More: How I Got Richard Branson to Say, ‘Yes’


April Smallwood

Digital editor Collective Hub

April is the digital editor of Collective Hub.


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