When I think of mentorship, I am reminded of the invaluable aspect of accountability and growth. My professional journey began in 2017, and mentorship has been an essential element throughout my career. I found myself working alongside individuals from diverse backgrounds and different generations. As I reflect on it, the entire experience has been eye-opening and inspiring.

I have always been drawn to the wisdom and life insights that more senior colleagues bring to the table. They seemed to hold the keys to success in navigating the corporate world, or so I thought back then. However, as time passed, I witnessed a remarkable transformation in the way we connect, build relationships, and interact in general, all thanks to the remote era of digital technology. The in-person interactions and causal drop-ins are becoming rare, and we are required to be more deliberate and thoughtful in our approach to maintaining connections.

Despite this shift, I have been fortunate to continue seeking mentorship, even if it’s not in the traditional face-to-face manner. Over the past year at MarCom Group, I have been privileged to be mentored by three exceptional colleagues within the organization. Identifying the right mentors was not a rushed process; I took my time to observe and discern who truly inspired me.

Observing someone’s demeanor, work ethic, and values over time made it easier to establish a genuine connection. I sought out individuals whose beliefs and moral compass aligned with my own. Moreover, I focused on those who held leadership positions and were well accomplished, as I was eager to learn and grow from their expertise.

As I settled into my role at a new company, I recognized the importance of seeking guidance on how to navigate the organization and develop the skills I aspire to possess. Therefore, I sought mentorship from a leader who could provide insights into high-level strategies to elevate my thinking about what it takes to succeed in corporate life. Additionally, I connected with two senior colleagues who possessed remarkable confidence, presentation skills, and an impactful presence in any setting. Each person I chose to learn from had unique strengths that I aimed to cultivate within myself, allowing me to grow both professionally and personally.

Being intentional is key to shaping the trajectory of one’s career and character. As I aspire to advance within the company, I also strive to evolve into the person I envision becoming in the future. Mentorship has been the catalyst for this growth, and I am grateful for the supportive network of mentors that have inspired and guided me along the way.

Below are five helpful steps I learned from my experience to build a successful mentor-mentee relationship in a remote (hybrid) company. The steps will guide you in selecting the right mentor and improve your connection with them.

Step 1: Be Intentional About Your Career Growth
As a mentee, it’s essential to identify the specific areas of your career where you want to grow. Seek out individuals who possess greater knowledge or wisdom in those areas. Whether it’s public speaking, confidence building, organizational skills, or aspiring to be in a leadership role, find mentors who can guide you in your desired professional direction.

Step 2: Seek Multiple Mentors for Diverse Strengths
In today’s hybrid and remote work environments, finding mentors within your company can be a challenge. Aim to connect with both senior- and junior-level mentors to gain different perspectives on your career development. Understand your mentors’ strengths and ensure they align with areas you want to improve, such as client relations, team building, work-life balance, writing skills, and project management.

Step 3: Aspire to Be Like Your Mentors
Take a proactive approach and get to know potential mentors and their backgrounds before asking them to guide you. It’s crucial to establish a good chemistry and relatability with your mentors. Seek mentors who share similar beliefs and morals with you, as this alignment will facilitate a more enriching and impactful mentorship journey.

Step 4: Be Open to Learning and Growing
Approach mentorship with a teachable attitude, acknowledging that there’s always more to learn. When your mentor suggests books, articles, or projects, embrace these opportunities and give them your best effort. Be honest about your current position in your career but maintain a professional demeanor as your mentor is generously investing their time to help you grow. Be punctual with your assignments and demonstrate enthusiasm for advancing in your career.

Step 5: Share Your Goals and Stay Connected
Communicate your short-mid and long-term goals with your mentor, so they can better support you on your journey. Aim to connect with them at least once a month to provide updates on your progress and receive feedback. With regular communication, you’ll have time to complete any assignments or recommendations they offer. Develop a plan outlining how your mentor can specifically help you achieve your goals, and inquire about potential programs, networking groups, or courses that align with your aspirations.

I feel fortunate to be working at MarCom Group in part because the company has a supportive culture and fosters a sense of belonging and openness. Despite the challenges of remote work, there are mentors who provide valuable guidance and contribute to my professional growth.

In this hybrid and remote world we live in today, with limited in-person interactions, the steps outlined above can help you plan and pursue growth within a company and build strong professional relationships. Embrace your organization’s culture and leverage the opportunities for your own professional development.


About the author: Kaelin Okoronkwo is a social media strategist who is passionate about helping small businesses grow. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication and public relations, and she brings her expertise to her work with MarCom Group. Kaelin loves teaching and mentoring small businesses on how to use social media to brand themselves, market their products and services. Kaelin strongly advocates for the power of a supportive community. She firmly believes that you shouldn’t navigate life alone, as having people cheering you on is crucial for reaching your goals and desires. Through her personal experiences, she shares how building meaningful relationships is the key to success, inspiring others to do the same.