How To Ask Someone To Be Your Mentor

Desmond Ong


When looking for a mentor you want to be strategic in your decision. What are you looking for? What are your career goals? Once you understand those you can start looking for a mentor who possess the skills you want to learn or has the job that you one day hope to have. Mentors can give you invaluable advice and help you make connections that will help you to achieve your goals. Once you have found that person, asking them is another thing you will need to do.


When you are asking someone to be your mentor a key questions and point to bring up is how much of their time you are going to need. In order for you to have a valuable relationship with your mentor you will need to make sure that they have the proper time to devote to helping you. Of course your mentor will be someone you look up to and is successful, so naturally they will be busy. It is important that you establish with them the time you will need for the relationship.

The Why

Explain why you want them to be your mentor. You don’t want to sound like you are sucking up but you should discuss what skills and career choices attracted you to them and why you chose to ask them to mentor you. Help them understand that you’re not looking for them to do everything for you but rather want to learn from their experiences. Clearly discuss the guidance that you are looking for.

Make Initial Contact

Email your possible mentor asking if they’d consider being one to you. It is important to not make them feel pressured to answer but also give them a timeline to let you know so you can begin looking for another mentor then. The email should spell out why you are reaching out and what mentoring is going to entail for them. In addition, try to schedule a date or time to meet for coffee, lunch, or dinner, so there’s less back and forth and your mentor has all of the information up front and can make a decision right away.

Remember, this relationship is important for you both to be dedicated to because it can help you achieve your goals. A mentor is going to guide you but not hold your hand through the process. When asking them make sure you have clear goals, a realistic time schedule, and are willing to be flexible.

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