Mentoring is an amazing and rewarding experience, one that can truly change the world. Our brilliant mentors have edited resumes, given invaluable career advice, and saved lives. Mentoring also helps mentors update their skills, gain new perspectives, and expand their network. Here are our best mentoring tips!

Do:

  • Be enthusiastic! You should want to share your experiences and expertise.
  • Be kind. The people asking for your help can come from difficult backgrounds, struggle to speak your language, or have different customs. Assume the best of everyone.
  • Call mentees out for inappropriate behavior. Sometimes people don’t realize that it’s inappropriate to, say, ask a woman her marital status, but will immediately stop or learn if they’re told.
  • Be generous with your time, energy, and brainpower. Share your experiences, your contacts, and your knowledge and skills.
  • Offer to connect mentees with other people you know who can help them. Most people are happy to help!
  • Have good social skills and communication. Respond to emails politely and professionally, as you would talk to your boss or superior.
  • Ask questions! Guide mentees to the answer and provide space for reflection and discussion.
  • Give constructive feedback and different perspectives so the mentee is able to analyze their own development.
  • Be inspiring and positive. You want your mentee to come away feeling better about themself.
  • Encourage mentees to learn new things and increase their skills.
  • Provide space and guidance for the mentee’s own thoughts and choices.
  • Encourage mentees to be self-reliant.
  • Listen. Never assume your life circumstances will work for everyone else.
  • Respond promptly to their requests for help, always within a few days, even if it’s to let them know you need more time to get to their request.
  • Make friends. Mentees can be great additions to your own life and network!
  • Admit if you’re wrong. Mentors can be wrong too.
  • Admit if you don’t know something.
  • Apologize if you mess up or forget something.
  • Use examples to explain your point, especially if your mentee isn’t understanding something.
  • Use simple sentences when possible.

Don'ts:

  • Don’t just give them the answers. Guide them.
  • Don’t harass your mentee, especially sexually. This will result in immediate removal from any good mentorship team, including ours.
  • Don’t talk about religion or preach, especially to suggest that your views are correct and theirs aren’t or to try to convert them. Do not offer solutions to problems that are just “trust in God” or “say this specific prayer.” Do not tell people they deserve what happens to them or that there’s a greater plan. You’re not their pastor or priest.
  • Don’t mentor for power or a feeling of control. You can learn a lot from your mentees, just as they learn from you. All humans are equal.
  • Don’t get into political arguments with mentees.
  • Don’t act as a parent, psychologist, problem solver, or boss.
  • Don’t impose time deadlines.
  • Don’t just talk at them. Mentorship is a two-way interaction.
  • Don’t cut off contact or cease responding to your mentee if they’re still talking to and learning from you.
  • Don’t act superior. Mentorship is about openness and trust.
  • Don’t spoonfeed mentees, especially with technical problems or with editing their articles. Show them how to write or code and let them explore.
  • Don’t feel rushed to respond. If someone keeps bugging you, politely respond saying you’ll get to it on your own time and explain why they shouldn’t bug people helping them.
  • Don’t just say something is a good idea or right because you say so. Explain where you’re coming from and encourage them to think for themselves.

Dweebs and Dogs Specific Tips for Our Mentors:

  • Do not ever charge your mentees for anything or try to point them towards any paid services you’re affiliated with (if you must, let us know and make sure you let your mentee know in a disclaimer that you make money from the service). We do not do sponsorships or promotions. We are trying to help people for free.
  • Respond to your mentees within two days, ideally with 24 hours. When you respond, please CC dweebsmenteerequests@gmail.com.
  • Never just ignore requests for help. If you are swamped and can’t handle them, forward the request to dweebsmenteerequests@gmail.com within two days maximum so we can send the request to someone else.
  • If you have advice that isn’t on the website, talk to your Team Lead or the Executive Team about adding it to the relevant page.
  • Read the page you’re mentoring about in full. Try not to give mentees contradictory advice; the advice on the website is our best input consolidated from experts around the world. If you think we’re wrong, tell us!
  • Contact your Team Lead or the Executive Team if you feel disrespected, harassed, unappreciated, or mistreated by mentees, other mentors, or anyone else.
  • If you don’t know the answer, reach out to your Team Lead or the Executive Team so we can see if someone else can help them.
  • If you’re one of our fearless resume editors, we know you’ll receive resumes that are completely off-base. Point them back to our website and our video and tell them to try again. Teach them how to write it and let them know they can send it again. If it’s close to perfect, do line-by-line edits in Word or a Google doc with track changes.
  • If you’re editing resume or articles, or otherwise have to open Word documents people send you, download an antivirus software. (Most laptops come with one now.)
  • Send proposed articles/pages for this website via email, not on our chat chain.
  • Be active on your chat chains every so often, just to see if there are new areas that excite you or you can help with.
  • You’re here to help people and we also hope you gain friends and a network. We are so grateful for everything you do!

Mentors

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