At this point in your career journey, you might be ready for a mentor yet unsure of how to approach the topic. Knowing how to ask someone to be your mentor is a vital skill, as discovering a mentor is likely one of the most valuable choices you will make in your professional life. This applies to all fields, from professional basketball to web development to firefighting. 

The challenge is that approaching someone and asking them to act as your mentor is not a simple task. Even in the greatest of situations, requesting somebody to mentor you may feel awkward, especially since influential people are typically in high demand as mentors in their field, and successful people are also frequently the busiest.

Asking Someone For Mentorship

You must first be certain that this is what you want: what makes you desire to have a mentor? And, most importantly, why would you like to receive mentoring?

Do you wish to pick up a new talent, or have you been struggling with certain issues at work? Regardless, consider the reasons behind your request for mentoring and confirm that it coincides with their availability and areas of interest before contacting them. 

You’re prepared to approach someone to serve as your mentor once you’ve given these questions their due diligence. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to ask someone to be your mentor:

Create A Bond Before Making An Inquiry

It’s crucial to build a rapport with your possible mentor before you ask that big question. This could be asking for advice on particular subjects, attending business events and social networking, and conducting informational interviews.

If you want to see if there’s a foundation for a deeper connection, it may include things like sidebar conversations during Zoom calls, class interactions, follow-up emails, and “small talks” after a lecture. Building a relationship with someone early on will make it more likely that you will receive a favorable answer when you formally ask them to be your mentor.

Arrange A Preliminary Discussion

Inquire if the person you’re considering being your mentor is available for an hour-long meeting. You want to give the other individual ample time to inquire about your objectives and other matters; you don’t want to rush them.

Establishing meeting schedules, milestones, and outcomes debriefings are all crucial components of a fruitful mentoring partnership. Determine the best and most appropriate ways to use the various communication channels (voicemail, email, text, social media platform, etc.). 

If the mentor has certain preferences, make sure you respect them. If necessary, alter your calendar to show how much you value their time and commitment to you.

Give A Clear Description Of The Advice You Are Looking For From Your Mentor

Here’s where your initial brainstorming will come in handy to help you express exactly what’s on your mind. Explain what kind of counsel or advice you are looking for and why.

Are you looking to apply for a different position, or is it to help you manage the politics in your present department? Are you considering returning to school but are unsure of what subject to concentrate on? Consider this and state your goals clearly from the outset. To give your possible mentor a better grasp of how to help, or if they can help at all, you should be very specific about the rationale for your request.

Reaffirm That You Are Prepared To Participate Fully In The Mentorship

You should let your potential mentor know that you’re prepared to put in the time, effort, and energy necessary to fully utilize their guidance, as it’d be difficult to mentor an individual who doesn’t do the work required to benefit from it.

Respect and Acknowledge The Person’s Time

The majority of individuals who are approached to serve as mentors have achieved great success in their jobs, which makes them extremely busy and in high demand. You must accept this fact and thank them for considering your request. This is also how you give them a polite “out,” allowing them to turn down your request because they are overly busy.

Make A Schedule

Make a schedule for your suggested mentorship program during or soon after your initial meeting to estimate the amount of time they will be spending mentoring you. They might be grateful for your consideration of their time and workload. Furthermore, establishing time-specific objectives for your development and mentorship can be facilitated by having a clear timeframe.

Establish a strategy covering the initial period with your mentor if you intend to have a long-term mentorship with this person. This will help to keep both of you on track.

Regarding how you want to organize your work together, do you want to meet for coffee and talk every week, once a month, or on a different schedule? (This would, of course, be dependent on your mentor’s availability, though it’s helpful to discuss this upfront.)

Express Your Gratitude To Your Mentor

Express gratitude to the newly acquired mentor for allowing you to pick their brains. Express your gratitude for the time they will spend with you despite their personal and professional commitments.

Converse With Them In A Follow-Up

Allow two weeks to pass after sending your prospective mentor an email before contacting them again. To give you their undivided attention, they may need to rearrange their priorities.

It’s important to remember that your follow-up should be courteous of the mentor’s time and other commitments while also expressing your excitement and commitment to the relationship. 

Be Persistent

When asking someone to mentor you and they appear distant, you may personally reach out to them via a mutual friend and/or their assistant. Someone else can recall your initial email more readily than they can remember another one of yours. You might also keep reaching out to people for additional pertinent job advice.

Samples And Templates For Mentorship Requests

You can create a customized and compelling mentorship request using templates and sample requests. Here is a sample template request that you can customize below:

How To Use LinkedIn To Approach Someone To Act As Your Mentor

Hi [CONTACT NAME], I’m a big fan of your work. I have followed you briefly, and I found [PIECE OF CONTENT] to be especially enjoyable. 

I wanted to get in touch with you because I like the work you have been doing, and I am currently searching for a mentor on the subject of [SUBJECT MATTER].

Would you be interested in speaking with me further about this over the phone or via email, depending on your preference? Kindly inform me, and continue the fantastic job! 


How To Email Someone For Mentorship

Hello James,

I’m [YOUR NAME], and [YOUR CONTACT] provided me with your contact information. I have been employed by [YOUR COMPANY] for [YOUR TENURE] and presently hold the role of [YOUR ROLE]. 

I’ve been keeping up with your career for some time, and I greatly admire the work you’ve been producing. Would you be able to get on the phone for a few minutes or maybe even get together for coffee?

I’m presently looking into possible mentorship options since I believe I could learn a lot from you, which is why I’m asking. 

If you’re available, I’d like to ask you a few inquiries regarding your career in the interim. I’d love to work closely together over an extended period. Kindly let me know if you are available!



Tips On How To Ask Someone To Be Your Mentor

When contacting someone you don’t know, start with an introduction and include any areas of interest, commonalities, or discussion topics. Make an effort to establish a rapid rapport in the hopes of arousing interest in a meeting. You may suggest coffee or a quick meeting at their workplace. Set aside 30 minutes for this first meeting.

In your initial email or meeting, never propose someone to be your mentor. It takes time to establish rapport and trust in any relationship. Before asking someone to be your mentor, you might need to get to know them better over a few meetings and learn about their objectives and current work.

Finally, seek out mentors who are open and honest about their professional lives and the fields they operate in. They might be more inclined to provide candid, pertinent advice regarding your professional future. They could be the right mentor if you think their criticism is sincere, comprehensive, and intended to help you grow. 

Be The Best Mentee You Can Be

Though it can occasionally feel awkward or scary, asking someone to be your mentor is an essential step in your professional development. However, you can handle this talk well and raise the likelihood of a successful result if you take the appropriate approach.

Using these pointers, you can approach someone with professionalism and confidence to ask them to be your mentor, creating a worthwhile and rewarding collaboration that will help you grow professionally.