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Home / Become a Mentor/Mentee

Become a Mentor/Mentee

Become a Mentor:

The success of the mentoring relationship depends on the time and commitment invested in the relationship.  A strong mentoring relationship helps mentees adjust to and succeed in the work environment. When solid communication and commitment are established between employees and the work organization, the incidences of employee dissatisfaction and turnover may be reduced.

Mentors should possess very specific knowledge, skills, and abilities that are aligned with the program purpose, HHS mission, vision, and core values. Additionally, mentors should possess:

• Strong interpersonal skills,
• Organizational knowledge,
• Technical competence,
• Strong leadership skills,
• Sense of personal power,
• Ability to maintain confidentiality of mentoring relationship, and
• Willingness to be supportive and patient

A mentor should be fully supportive of a mentee’s professional development and should provide encouragement and guidance. However, it is not the role of a mentor to advocate on behalf of the mentee in terms of promotion, special assignments, or changes in employment.

All mentors in the HHS Mentoring program are required to set up an account in the Mentoring Matching System.  visit the Account Setup page to begin the process.

Become a Mentee:

Mentees are empowered to play a very strategic and proactive role in their professional development. In order to take full advantage of the mentoring experience, they must become active players by: 1) reflecting on professional goals, 2) finding the right fit, and 3) being open to feedback and coaching.

Reflecting on Professional Goals

In preparation for the mentoring relationship, employees should:

 • Think about their short- and long-term professional goals,
 • Assess their current situations, and
 • Determine where they wish to be in terms of their professional field and individual performance level

Finding the Right Fit

Mentees should carefully think about what characteristics and knowledge are personally important to them in a mentoring relationship. When searching for a mentor who is a good “fit,” mentees should look for someone who has the characteristics and abilities mentioned below:

• Understanding of HHS’ mission, vision, values, and norms
• Strong interpersonal skills
• Organizational knowledge
• Supportive and patient demeanor
• Can maintain confidentiality of the mentoring relationship
• Sense of personal power
• Strong leadership skills
• Interested in people and their development
• Motivates and inspires others to reach their full potential
• Comfortable providing constructive feedback

At the initial meeting with a prospective mentor, mentees should discuss their specific professional needs and expectations for the relationship and ask a few probing questions. More insight on the potential mentor may be gained through such questions as:

• What can you, as a mentor, bring to a mentoring relationship?
• What positions have you held in the past?
• Which departments or organizations within the government have you worked for?
• What parts of your education have contributed to your career choices?
• How much time do you anticipate being able to spend working with me?
• What type of communication methods (ie. phone, in person, email) would you prefer for this mentoring relationship?
• What is a typical day on the job like for you?

Being Open to Feedback and Coaching

Mentees should want and expect continuous feedback and coaching from their mentors to enable professional growth. Participation in the program provides opportunities to receive confidential one-to-one guidance, feedback, and coaching to improve performance and support the achievement of professional goals. Also, regular feedback sessions help mentees to transfer newly acquired knowledge and skills to the workplace.

All mentees in the HHS Mentoring program are required to set up an account in the Mentoring Matching System.  visit the Account Setup page to begin the process.

Last revised: 2/7/2014

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