Mentoring… An Introduction

mentoring - networking tips for beginners

Mentoring is a huge topic and one I expect we will come back to time and time again.

You might be a student looking for a mentor to help you understand what you might want to do with your life. If you already know what you want to do you might want a mentor who will be able to give you an inside view. A mentor will also be able to help with questions you might have about getting a job or through the interview process.

If you are just starting out in your career and looking for a mentor to help you progress your career, for someone to help you understand your career direction and develop solutions to career challenges.  Alternatively, you might be looking to mentor others and wanting to “give back” by mentoring students and people who are just getting started.

What is a mentor and what is mentoring?

Mentoring is an effective way of helping people to progress in their careers.  It is a partnership between two people (mentor and mentee). A mentor is a guide who can help the mentee to find the right direction and who can help them to develop solutions to career issues. Mentoring provides the mentee with an opportunity to think about career options and progress. A mentor should help the mentee to believe in themselves and boost their confidence. A mentor should ask questions and challenge while providing guidance and encouragement. Ultimately, mentoring is about becoming more self-aware. It is about taking responsibility and directing your life in the direction you decide.

Great! How can I get involved?

If you are a student most universities and PG study providers have mentoring schemes in place.  Why not ask if you haven’t already heard about it.

If you are already working a lot of companies offer a formal mentoring scheme. If there isn’t one this doesn’t mean you can’t ask someone in your network to be your mentor (or offer your help as a mentor to someone else).

The important thing to remember is that in each case someone is giving up their personal time.  Therefore, the mentor/mentee relationship should be mutually beneficial to both participants.

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