Our Careers and Outreach Coordinator and Career Development Mentoring Scheme lead, Lyndsey Thomson, tells us why you should consider mentoring during this time of uncertainty
During these times of uncertainty, the support and guidance of a good mentor could make a difference to many of us.
In a time where we are being advised to physically distance ourselves from others, we need to ensure that we are not emotionally disconnecting too. We live in a world where technology has created endless means of contact and we now find ourselves in a place where it’s never been more important to build on and utilise our ‘remote’ social connections - lockdown. Mentoring can help us use this time positively for growth and development.
Covid 19 has, in many ways, brought emotions to the forefront for us all, some that we can’t quite put our fingers on – a sense of loss perhaps? This is especially prevalent in relation to job uncertainty, furloughing and social distancing which has in turn, raised the need for engagement, conversation and connection.
Mentoring can help you to analyse where you currently are, identify your strengths and identify opportunities which you can build on to overcome weaknesses and potential threats by clear and positive goal setting and planning a route to get you there.
A mentoring relationship can also reap huge benefits but only if the mentee is willing to do the work! To make the most of your mentoring experience, you need to be ready and prepared – think about what you want to achieve. Mentors make great sounding boards. Your mentor may have previously been where you are now and indeed, our Career Development Mentoring Scheme is currently recruiting new mentors whose traineeships were affected by the economic crisis of 2008 so if you are a current trainee and are anxious about your training, development and your future career, now is the time to make the move and sign up. Use the experience and knowledge of others and most of all, be prepared – mentors will often ask questions you won’t ask yourself!
If you are already in a mentoring relationship, this is the perfect time to reach out, re-engage and refresh. Relationships can keep moving forward despite current restrictions. Your focus may have changed, goals and objectives might need to be re-thought, you’ll more than likely have a new daily schedule and many of us now have added pressures when working from home. It is important, therefore, that we try to retain as ‘normal’ a routine as possible and this includes checking-in with your mentor or mentee.
For mentees, think about your next move – are there opportunities to be had here? Can you re-train, increase your skillset or knowledge? How can you best utilise your talents and time at the moment? Even in lockdown, mentors can help their mentees increase their exposure – you just need to be creative!
If you are interested in mentoring, either as a mentor or mentee, you can find out more about our Career Development Mentoring Scheme here or contact a member of the team at firstname.lastname@example.org but in the meantime, consider the following:
- Self-reflection: Where are you now? Where do you want to be?
- How can mentoring help you get there?
- Reach out: do some research, register an interest OR reconnect with your mentor / mentee