I work for a service-based company as a software engineer. I've been working here for two years.
I want to change jobs with a better organization, ideally a tech giant or a product-based company. Someone I know who works as an SDE3 Level Engineer at one of the companies I am pursuing is very helpful. He is always willing to assist.
How I can benefit from his experience and assist in achieving my goal of changing jobs while also advancing my career? Should I try to put together a growth plan to track my progress toward my goal?
Also, what can I do to provide value to my mentor? When the mentor works for a different company, is it very difficult to be of value?
Here are great responses about how you can provide value to career mentors who have helped you.
How you best benefit from your relationship with the SDE3 depends on your relationship. How have they assisted you? How much time do they have?
It will help to have a "meta-conversation", to talk about how you would like the relationship to go. Something like this:
Hey, you've been so helpful for me in understanding life in a product-based company. You probably know that one of my goals in the next year is to transition into one of those roles, and I feel I could continue to learn so much form you. What do you think would be the best way for me to do that?
I like the idea of a growth plan if they know you well enough and you have check-ins at regular enough intervals. I mention this on the other thread, but I think the one of the best things a mentee can do is to follow up with me as they achieve different milestones -- the growth plan sounds like the first step in that.
I'm glad you have such a supportive SDE3 mentor! To get the most out of the relationship, check this out: "How do you get the most out of mentorship?"
Should I try to put together a growth plan to track my progress toward my goal?
Yes! Plans for personal growth are pretty much always good. Writing the plan is just the first step though - You need to hold yourself accountable against it (it's so easy to write something down and then fail to commit to it). You can ask your mentor to help you with this - It's quite easy in fact! If you have a recurring meeting, simply have your mentor go through your growth plan item by item in each meeting and see if you have achieved the milestones. Social accountability is so powerful!
Also, what can I do to provide value to my mentor?
Off the top of my head:
For tips on how to do all of this, check out our masterclass: [Masterclass] How To Build Deep Relationships Quickly In Tech