Here are a few recommendations from Trustee and former mentor Toby Castle:
Setting your goals at the start of the year is the most important session you will do together and the key to a successful mentoring experience.
Take time to do it and put it down in an email – it gives the mentee a clear idea of what they want to achieve but also gives the mentor a clear idea of what is expected of them.
What do you as mentee want from your mentor – motivator, coach or resource? And what does mentor feel best qualified to offer?
Both sides need to prepared for honesty. The goals must be realistic and may evolve over the year.
Be creative about meeting face to face – they are often the most productive meetings.
If meeting face to face is difficult use the phone, text, email and Skype.
Examples of what to discuss could be talking over story ideas, debriefing reports or news packages.
Take time to introduce your mentee to colleagues especially those with more specific experience the mentee might benefit from talking to. Make effort to get your mentee to visit you at work.
Help with job application process including proof reading applications and recommending the right people to approach for job advice.
Support your mentor with interviews – role playing and debriefing afterwards.
…and finally – mentees: don’t be worried about giving your mentor a hard time about not being in contact. Mentors will inevitably need gentle encouragement at some point during the year. Be prepared to put the effort in – you’ll enjoy it more.