With 20 new mentors joining our mentoring scheme this month, our Careers and Outreach Coordinator, Lyndsey Thomson, explains how enlisting a mentor can help graduates get ready for the workplace and increase their chances of success.

Throughout the course of our work in the Careers and Outreach Team, we liaise closely with graduate recruitment managers and HR teams, and a common theme for discussion is how some graduates don't seem to be 'work-place ready' after leaving university.

Many employers identify leadership, negotiation, strategy and planning as the areas in which graduates tend to lack experience. And many graduates themselves will admit that they feel under-prepared in relation to these technical skills, having had little opportunity to either speak to a careers advisor or to take part in mock interviews. This is even more so in light of the pandemic and the subsequent challenges we have all experienced since March 2020.

We are aware that, in today's economy and market, new graduates are finding it extremely difficult to secure traineeships or alternative employment. Those who do are entering a very different world of work, often starting new roles in new organisations remotely, without having met their employers and co-workers in-person and with support networks and induction processes often more difficult to access.

This is where our Career Development Mentoring Scheme can provide some much needed help to ensure our graduates are workplace ready. Our mentoring scheme provides mentees access to mentors who can help them to develop the softer skills they may be lacking - helping them to stay ahead of the competition when it comes to securing graduate roles or traineeships, and improving their prospects of progression.

For graduates who are seeking their first career break or information on next steps in light of the pandemic, our mentors can provide a wealth of information about career options, how to search for opportunities and preparing for applications and interviews.

Our online platform provides all the necessary tools to enable graduates and mentors to identify key challenges and goals to work on, and offers step-by-step support throughout the relationship to ensure it remains on track to achieving those goals and objectives.

One positive take-away from the pandemic is that virtual meetings have now become the norm, meaning that connecting with a mentor has become a lot easier and you don't even have to be in the same geographical area! It is now possible to meet with your mentor through a variety of platforms, including Teams, Zoom, WhatsApp etc, which means that the support from a mentor is readily accessible.

Nevertheless, whilst it is great to have all the benefits of a face-to-face session from the comfort of your own home, we should also remember that picking up the telephone or going for a 'walk and talk' in the daylight and fresh air are also viable meeting options and good for our mental wellbeing.

We are now beginning to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel as far as Covid is concerned and we are confident that the market will recover with a brighter future ahead for graduates. For those who are able to take advantage of our mentoring platform, they can be well prepared to make the most of those future opportunities.

With 20 new mentor profiles being added to the platform this month, increase your chances of success and sign up as a mentee today!

Our career mentoring scheme

We run a successful career mentoring scheme, which supports those hoping to advance their legal careers. Find our about becoming a mentor or a mentee.

Find out more about being a mentee

People look for a mentor for a variety of reasons and it's not just those starting their career. It can be about career development, or about gaining confidence more generally.