As we start a new year, one of your new year’s resolutions may be to look at your career goals and to find a mentor to help you work towards this new goal.
The ACT’s mentoring scheme can help you to find a mentor who has worked in a field similar to the one you are in (or want to move to) and could be a good way to get your resolutions off to a running start!
The most effective mentor search begins by examining yourself.
To find the perfect mentor, you need to be clear about your career goals and aspirations, your strengths and challenges, and the skill sets, behaviours, or even work styles you’d like to develop. If you need any help with this take a look at the ACT Career Hub which includes, amongst other resources, valuable assessments to help you to understand your working style and how you work with others.
Identify your long-term career goals.
It’s important to know how you want your career to progress over time. Give consideration to career milestones so that you can monitor your progress towards achieving your career goals. When you have clear goals in mind it helps your prospective mentor to identify which areas to focus on when guiding you. Without clear goals your relationship is likely to stall.
Here are some tips for working with a mentor:
- Be clear and honest about your goals and how you want a mentor to help you.
- Take the initiative in leading your mentoring relationship.
- Agree with your mentor on how you want to communicate with each other.
- Prepare for meetings. Review previous meeting notes and ensure you have completed agreed actions.
- Be open. Being realistic, open and honest with your mentor will allow a positive and productive relationship to form. When looking for guidance and support, you should be willing to learn and take on advice.
- Work with your mentor to make your own decisions and turn them into action. Mentors should serve the role of guide. You must accept responsibility for your own decisions and actions.
- Don’t get defensive if you are given feedback. This is what will help you to get to the next level.
- Share your successes with your mentor and include examples of how their guidance has helped you.
If a mentoring relationship is to be successful, it should be based on encouragement, constructive comments, openness, mutual trust, respect and a willingness to learn and share.
The ACT run a mentoring scheme for members and students – find out more at https://act.mentormatch.me/