Reach out and establish a relationship. If you have someone in mind to be your mentor, reach out and ask them. If you were wanting to ask someone you don’t know to be your mentor try to make a common connection with a friend, coworker, or supervisor. Be open about what you are looking for and accept help if it is offered.
Be specific about what you want. Make clear your goals and intentions. It is important to be clear about you want out of the mentoring relationship in case the person you have chosen is not able to offer it to you.
Make it easy for your mentor. Be respectful of your mentor’s time by taking care of the logistics. Find a meeting place or set up a video call. Make it easy for them so that they just need to show up, and if they have an executive assistant you should work with them for your scheduling. Be on time for your meeting and remember that there is a set time limit.
Listen and show them you value their feedback. If your mentor makes a recommendation, demonstrate that you’re going to do it and provide feedback of what happened. Always take notes during your meetings. If you are meeting virtually, ask if you can record the session to reference again later. Do not be offended if the answer is no.
Mentors will likely change over your career. As you grow, change in your position and in your personal life, the mentor relationship will change too. Having multiple mentors is not a bad thing. Be upfront with your current mentor if you want to seek help in a different area. This trusted partner may be able to recommend your next mentor.
Show gratitude. Your mentor has a personal life, job, and responsibilities, so you should respect them by not demanding too much of their time. Find small ways to demonstrate your gratitude and kindness within the ethical rules of the Air Force. This could be a hand-written note or a phone call to see how they are doing. Remember that your mentor will want to hear from you long into the future.
When you have mentor, you gain insight from someone who has already reached the point you are trying to get to. All employees are encouraged to not only find a mentor, but also be a mentor!
Mentors and mentees can create and or update their profiles in the MyVECTOR mentoring module at https://myvector.us.af.mil/. Additional information can be found on the AFMC Mentoring Feature Site at www.afmc.af.mil/careers/AFMC-Mentoring/.