City : Mentoring Bridge : About Mentoring
What is mentoring?
Mentoring is where one person with experience gives personal advice and guidance to another person, and it’s for anyone who would like someone to support them to get to where they want to be.
A mentor is likely to be someone who has been in a similar situation before, so they should be able to give you individual support and advice on how to succeed and reach your goals.
How does mentoring work?
The main aim is for you and your mentor to develop a close relationship. Your mentor will spend time getting to know you and understanding your individual situation so that you can trust them to give you advice specific to you.
You can decide at the beginning of the mentoring relationship how long you want it to last and how often you will meet. They are there to support you and the type of support you can get will depend on what suits you and the relationship you have with your mentor.
If you already know what kind of career you want, a mentor who works in a similar role or the same sector may be really useful to help your career development.
If you have no idea what you want to do, a mentor can talk to you about your options, suggesting things that you may not have thought about yourself. A mentor will help you understand what is possible and help you set realistic goals for you to work on.
Employment and Careers:
You can get mentoring for your career - whether you need help figuring out what you'd like to do or guidance for getting to where you'd like to be. For employment and careers mentoring you can get in touch with Grow Our Own or check out the 'Relevant Agencies' floor.
Mentoring can also help build your confidence and personal skills which can help with everyday life as well as your career. A lot of careers mentors will also help you to work on your confidence and interpersonal skills.
Substance abuse or health issues:
If you’re dealing with this type of personal challenge reaching out to a support organisation may be a great help. If you'd like support for health or wellbeing issues, get in touch with your local GP or the local council for advice. If you have an urgent issue you'd like to talk about you can always get in touch with Samaritans.
Business mentoring is very popular in workplaces and many companies offer mentoring opportunities to staff to improve their performance and to develop future leaders. The business benefits of successful mentoring include improved productivity and a more engaged workforce.
For small businesses it can be very helpful to find a business mentor from another company who can guide you through the process of starting or growing a company. They can be especially useful when it comes to advising on access to funding or avoiding some of the pitfalls entrepreneurship involves.
To find a business mentor, check out some of the 'Relevant Agencies' on floor 3.
Ways to receive mentoring
This style of mentoring involves just you and your mentor.
When you first meet them you will discuss how often you will meet and for how long. Then you can go on to discuss your individual aims and goals.
Mentoring in a group involves you and a couple of other people in the same situation as you meeting up regularly.
With this sort of mentoring there is a lot of group support in addition to the support you will get from your mentor - this might be a good option if you'd like a more social environment to your mentoring.
E-mentoring is usually undertaken via email with minimal face-to-face meetings.
Your mentor can reply to your questions online and check over job applications or business plans via email. This type of mentoring tends to be more common in business mentoring situations.
What do I have to do?
The first step would be to get in touch with an organisation to find you a suitable mentor. (On the next floor you'll find out how to get in touch and who would be best to speak to.)
Once you’ve met with your mentor for the first time the rest is a team effort, so the key to the relationship is asking questions. You have the opportunity to ask your mentor all kinds of things and they can guide you from their own knowledge and experience.