When you think back to all the inspirations in your life, do you have mentors who have shaped you into the successful and confident person you are today?
Over the years, I connected with many empowering individuals who share their wisdom and stories with me. Through these conversations, I learned I wasn’t completely alone in my journey of self-discovery and career exploration. Their words of advice stuck with me, and I developed a strong mentor-mentee relationship with some.
I had a mentor who helped me achieve a mindset shift of growth and abundance, encouraging me to travel the world and live my passions. Another helped me dive deep into my personal brand and taught me the importance of being consistent both in-person and online. Every single one has taught me a lot about networking and building lasting relationships.
So, how do you stay connected with your mentors?
Provide Value by Being Resourceful
Give back to your mentors by sharing your resources with them as they did with you. You want to become resourceful and offer any help that you can. Ask them, “What are you currently working on?” and “How can I help?” Use your creative problem-solving skills on what you can do for them instead of the relationship being solely on how they can help you.
It’s always useful to share any helpful articles and books or opportunities that you know of such as conferences and workshops. Share resources relevant to their profession and industry for their personal and professional growth. It’s a thoughtful, simple gesture that will be greatly appreciated by anyone. Another way to provide value is to think about your network and who you can connect your mentors with; remember that opportunities come from people and goals can be achieved with the help of others.
Show Support by Promoting their Work
Figure out what your mentors are working on whether it is a freelance project, an online program, or any client service and show support by promoting their work to your network. You can share their work via social media platforms such as writing a tweet about their event on Twitter or sharing the article they wrote on Facebook.
If you’ve participated in their program or worked with them directly, you can write a recommendation on LinkedIn and endorse their skills. You can also create a testimonial for their website. If you work with them, you can propose creative ideas, offer hands-on help, or volunteer your time on additional projects. There are plenty of ways to show support for your mentors, and the traditional word-of-mouth to your trusted network can serve to benefit both parties looking for the specific connections and positive change in their lives.
Nurture the Relationship by Expressing Gratitude
One of my greatest takeaways from the Live Your Potential program is the significance of nurturing your relationships as an integral part of networking and increasing your emotional intelligence. Sending a quick thank-you email for their time spent with you within the week you met them for coffee shows your appreciation. You’re fresh on their mind, leaving a positive impression and showcasing your personal brand. Following-up several times a year is the key to maintain the relationship. Genuinely ask how they’re doing, how you can help and follow their updates on social media, while consistently being resourceful and sharing their work.
Holiday greetings and birthday wishes are the best opportunities to reach out and re-connect. Express gratitude for everything you do —it’s always a joy for them to hear updates about your journey and any successes from their help, or your own hard-earned effort paying off.
Your mentors want to hear from you—they want to see you succeed. Maintain ongoing contact with your mentors; you never know if you’ll need their help in the nearby future and vice versa. There may even be a possibility of a partnership. To build long-lasting relationships with your professional connections, it’s as simple as putting in the thought and effort.
Originally published on Live Your Potential (April 27, 2018)