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Mentoring in a crisis: Why it is key and how to make it work
In the wake of the initial impact of Covid-19, people right across the globe have been forced to adapt to a period of rapid change, which has seen many of us take stock and reprioritise.
One of the most common discussions we are having with professionals in the market, particularly with women, is about how to effectively manage work and family life, while also pushing ahead in their chosen career. At a time of uncertainty, it is so important that those who may be finding the current circumstances more challenging to navigate than others are receiving the additional support they need.
In this article, we highlight mentoring as one solution for professionals seeking more guidance in their careers, and how individuals can make the most of a mentorship to better prepare for and overcome the challenges of today’s market.
Getting the most out of a mentorship
Mentoring is a highly effective tool for supporting professionals in identifying objectives, visualising goals, and overcoming professional challenges. This support from a mentor can be useful at any point in a professional’s career, however, we believe it is most helpful when facing a crossroads, or positioning yourself for a step up in your career.
To kick-start your mentoring experience, here are five tips for a successful mentorship:
1. Identify goals and challenges
In the lead up to your first meeting, build a list of key professional objectives that you are currently working towards to talk through with your mentor. It is also important to identify any challenges and obstacles which prevent you from achieving your goals, and highlight any areas that you would like advice on.
2. Be prepared to talk about yourself
Following on from the above point, it may sound obvious, but the more you tell your mentor about your background and your career decisions to date, the better they will understand your journey. Building this foundation of insight into what drives you professionally is key for a mentor to best support you to achieve your goals.
3. Be open and honest
All mentoring conversations are strictly confidential, so do be as honest as you can. The more open you are about how you are thinking and feeling in regards to your current role, personal circumstances, and even the mentorship programme itself, the better equipped your mentor will be to help guide you through topics that are important to you, in a way that works best for you both.
4. Give it time
Building trust with your mentor takes time, and it is essential to a successful mentorship. If the first couple of sessions feel introductory, do not be disheartened. The best returns come a few months in once you have both taken the time to get to know each other and develop a strong mentee and mentor working relationship.
5. Pay it forward
The best way to ensure you make the most of the advice given to you throughout your mentorship is to become a mentor yourself. This is both an act of giving back and a process to remind yourself of your own motivations and ambitions. The benefits of a mentorship are not exclusive to a mentee, becoming a mentor is a brilliant way to upskill and continue your personal development.
If you would like more information on the benefits of finding a mentor, and how to find one, read more here.
Alternatively, get in touch with one of our specialist consultants to find out how we can support you in making the next steps. Our consultants are not only experts in their discipline and region, but we also often partner with industry leaders to create mentorship programmes for niche sectors and to support minority groups in propelling their careers.