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  • Catherine Hodgson


Updated: Jul 29, 2021

You may have signed up to a mentoring platform, eager to mentor someone as a way of giving back, sharing your experience as well as learning yourself. You may be wondering if you should reach out to a mentee or wait for someone to contact you. Here are a few things that you can do to start making a difference in someone’s life.


You wouldn’t arrive at a party and not greet the hosts and introduce yourself to other guests. The same goes for joining a mentoring platform. Let people know that you are there, that you have arrived. Introduce yourself to the community by sharing who you are, what you want to get out of the mentoring journey (why are you there?), what your strengths are (your superpowers) and what you could share with others (what is your area of expertise?).


On the platform there will be a space for you to share some of your wisdom and experience with others. You have something to offer and others want to learn from you. Examples of what you could share are:

  • What you wish someone had told you when you first started your career or your business.

  • The biggest lesson that you have learnt in your career.

  • A routine/mantra/guideline that you now embrace in your life/career/business.


A mentoring platform will show you your best mentoring matches as soon as you have completed your profile and inputted your mentoring requirements. Have a look at who has been matched to you and look at their profile.


Here are some tips to consider before reaching out to a potential mentee:

  • SKILLS: Look at what skills the mentee is wanting to learn. Do you have those skill sets? Would you feel comfortable guiding a mentee to learn those skills?

  • EXPERIENCE: What is the mentee wanting to learn? Do you have the experience in that area? Would you be able to offer the mentee value in that area?

  • VALUES/STRENGTHS: If the mentoring platform shows values, then look at the mentee’s values and how they align with or differ from your values. Is there any area that you may struggle with? If values are not shown, check to see if there are strengths that are highlighted.

  • HIERARCHY: You do not need to be older than your mentee, as long as you have experience in what your mentee is looking to learn. However, ensure that the potential mentee does not report directly to you.

  • INDUSTRY AND DEPARTMENT: It’s important to look at what industry and department your potential mentee is from. For example, if they are wanting to learn skills in management, then the industry or department is not important as mentoring in management is very similar across the board. However, if they are looking for guidance in a certain role or to climb the corporate career ladder, then looking for a mentor in the same industry or department is very important.

If you have just joined the platform, get active straight away, rather than waiting for someone to contact you. You can start making a difference in someone’s life immediately. After all, is that not why you joined?

Article by Catherine Hodgson

Catherine Hodgson is the co-founder and CEO of The Hodgson Group in South Africa and founder of SHIFT Mentoring, a mentoring and consulting company. Catherine joined YPO in 2009 and served as Global Mentoring Chair for 5 years, rolling out the YPO Mentoring program to chapters around the world, developing mentoring material and launching Mentoring Masterclasses. She believes passionately in lifelong learning and has been on a personal journey of lifelong learning in the mentoring and coaching fields. She is a YPO Mentoring Facilitator, Certified Coach and Certified in Conversational Intelligence. Married with two daughters, she lives in Cape Town, South Africa and spends five months of the year in Europe.

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