How to Make the Most of Your Relationship
If you succeed in finding mentor, you worst move would be
to besiege him or her with phone calls, e-mails, and frantic
pleas for help every time you hit crisis mode.
Youve selected a mentor because shes good at
her job. That means she has limited time. While its
fine to develop the relationship, you also want to be extremely
mindful of her boundaries and other obligations.
If you suspect you may be asking too much of your mentor--in
terms of guidance, time, whatever--back off. And make sure
to encourage her to tell you whenever she doesnt have
time to help. By respecting her boundaries, youll gain
her respect in return.
By definition, the mentor-mentee relationship is somewhat
lopsided. Shes giving to you, and theres probably
not a lot you can give back. Or so it seems. But dont
underestimate the power of a thank you--either
written or verbal.
Its definitely appropriate to provide a token of your
appreciation (flowers or a small gift) if she helps you with
a particularly sticky work situation or puts in a good word
for you that leads to a promising job opportunity. One caveat:
if your mentor works at the same company as you, be careful
about material thank yous that could appear inappropriate.
A better option is to buy her lunch or write her a nice note.