According to every single human who has ever helped someone in need of career development, it is imperative that when working with a mentor who has offered to give you a needed boost, you be as big a jerk as possible.
Here are a few ways you can ensure that you’re maximizing your awfulness.
1. Do the opposite of everything your mentor says to do.
Seriously, everything. If they put you in touch with someone and they kindly ask you to NOT name drop them, definitely name drop them. If they suggest you follow up with someone who can help you get a job, then do the opposite and don’t follow up. Your mentor is a moron and has no idea what they’re talking about.
2. Ask for advice and then don’t heed it.
You: “Hey, mentor. I was wondering what you think I should do: accept this amazing internship, or take this extra yoga course I don’t really need but my friends are taking it and I don’t want to be left out.”
Mentor: “I’d take the internsh-”
You: “KK YOGA IT IS.”
It’s important to understand that the more you defy your mentor’s suggestions, the more they will respect you.
3. Burn all of the bridges your mentor built for you.
They put you in touch with that great editor but you didn’t reach out. They introduced you to that recruiter who needed to fill a position but you were late to the interview and didn’t follow up or thank them. They gave you some freelance work that had the potential to turn into a full time job with benefits and you said yolo and drank the night before and threw up in the office kitchen the next day. Nice.
4. Don’t be grateful for anything they’ve done for you.
Your mentor is an idiot and deserves to be stepped on. Screw em! The second you begin to appreciate anything they’ve done for you, you’ve gone soft. Honestly, they have all the time in the world to help you out, and aren’t busy at all with their own lives. In fact, they’re most likely so board that they count the minutes until you contact them for help, just so they have something to do. Their time is worthless. They’re happy to do things for you – they literally have nothing else to do with their time.
5. Never keep in touch.
Your mentor owes it to you to always check in with you and make sure you have everything you need to be happy in your career. It’s their only job. THEY are supposed to guide YOU. So why would you ever ask them to see how they are doing? Don’t contact them on holidays to touch base. Don’t set up lunch or coffee meetings just to chat. You’re wasting your time, and time is money.
6. Shove your resume down your mentor’s throat.
Because that’s all a mentor is really good for, right? Just use them to get a job, and then forget about them. You don’t need to develop a relationship with them. They don’t need to get to know you. All they have to do is LOOK at you and immediately know that you are worth all their time and energy to help you find some great opportunity. You’re the next big thing – they should feel honored to even be in your presence. This one’s a no-brainer.
7. If they don’t stop the presses respond to your extremely important email the moment they receive it, make sure you email them 13 more times.
Or as many as it takes to get a response. They’re either preoccupied and can’t respond (which is unacceptable) or are just taking their sweet time to write back (which is even worse). Don’t stand for that abuse. You don’t deserve that treatment. You’re not a sloth, you’re a human being. Write them back again, and this time, let them know you don’t appreciate such injustice. And then remind them to look at your resume.
8. Be as lazy as you possibly can.
I mean, duh. If your mentor got to where they are now by hard work, merit and networking, then they’re doing it all wrong. Smart people figure out how to beat the system. You don’t need “connections” or “advice” or “guidance.” You were born knowing everything! So sit your butt on that couch, watch that Law and Order marathon, and SnapChat Ricky a photo of your cat. Ricky knows what’s up. Your mentor? Not so much.