You may be an accomplished individual in your field, and you may be getting requests from several enthusiastic individuals to mentor them in your field. It does feel very good when one receives such requests, but you do have to think about some things that are important when accepting such requests. Read through this list o’ 5 to know what those 5 points are.
- Respect every request: Yes, you may be the absolute genius in your field, and you may be receiving a lot of requests for mentoring individuals. Whilst the fan-mail (let’s call it that) may be a lot, it may be a good idea to sift through all of it individually. Why? First, it is a direct result of your success in your field, so you have to respect what you have been bestowed with. You ignoring/disrespecting such mentorship requests is just a slap to your success, and you don’t want to do that, correct? Second reason is that you never know who may be a real diamond amongst all the requests. Ignoring some may cause such diamonds to go undiscovered. Now you do not want that to happen, correct?;
- Understand every request: Not every request will be similar. Some individuals may want to learn from you by working for you, or someone may want to learn from you over regular mentor-student meetings or something else entirely. Understanding requests individually will help you to choose one (or more than one if you are up for it) as per your preference/liking;
- Do not focus much on formal education if there are other factors involved: Because the individual is being humble and asking for your mentorship to learn the ropes, do not focus much on formal education to write someone off based just on it. That is because even if the person may lack personal education, his/her interest to learn about the field you excel is a good start. Often we come across people who have studied something entirely different at school/university, and have excelled in an entirely different field later in life. Maybe such people had great mentors to guide them;
- Sift through by trying to spot real passion and passing fancies: Those who have real passion usually talk about it with all they have, without worrying to sound silly/stupid. True passion is hard to hide, and you being good at what you do (reason for your fan-mail) would be able to spot out such passion when you come across it;
- Look for compassion: Compassion in your prospective student may put you at ease down the line. If and when your student reaches high levels of success, he/she will definitely give you the lion’s share of credit. It feels nice to make someone’s life, doesn’t it? And being thanked for doing that is a warm feeling. So look for compassion while sifting through such requests.
Good luck, and thank you for reading!