Mentorship is a concept that in the early-career world we hear a lot. But I don’t think it’s something I really understood until very recently. I think I had my first mentor before I realised what one actually was. I was in year 9 and a CEO of a regional charity came to speak at an assembly. I was so drawn to his mission and everything that he was trying to achieve that we had a long conversation and supportive friendship that has continued many years until today.
So what’s all the fuss about mentorship
- Do you need a mentor?
- How do you get a mentor?
- What if you want a different mentor?
- How should mentorship look like ?
First things first, if you are in the early stages of your career and have some sort of idea as to what you would like your future to look like, then it might be time to look into getting someone I your prospective field to mentor you. If you have a series of decisions you need to make in the near future, you’re trying to navigate a new job or are even looking towards a specific path at university. If you’ve been in a job that you feel needs abit of a shake-up – or if you want to take your career to the next level … keep reading, mentorship might be a really beneficial relationship you could use.
I’m sure almost every work place has a mentorship scheme that you can look into. If you have a manager or a colleague you can speak to have a conversation about it
“I have a lot to learn not just for this role but Id like to find out how to be as useful as I can be in this organisation, do you know of any seniors or executives that would be willing to me about their careers or give advice?”
If you want to get creative, I’d say; put yourself out there – go to (online) events, look at the lists of speakers or attendants if possible and reach out to them. If there’s a particular twitter account that sparks your interest then see if your able to communicate with them and ask about their career and see if the chance might be there to extend your conversation. Look at inspirational speeches online international ones and local ones and find out more about the speakers. Everyone in today’s world is more accessible than you think. And if you’re not sure how to go about it or you want to skip this process and you’d like to be matched with one of our amazing GIS Ladies then click here.
There is nothing wrong with wanting a different mentor. Everyone is in different stages of life, and honestly sometimes these mentoring structures work out at first then stop working out. I heard recently that we all need different mentors at different points in our career, and I completely agree with that. Don’t feel bad about moving on from a mentor as long as you keep the door of friendship open for them, continue to interact with everything they are up-to. Its important to not close any doors when it comes to career contacts.
I think the best mentorships for myself are quite organic , they usually happen without a real monthly or bimonthly schedule. You check in with them regularly – but every once in a while, you opt for a call and let them know what’s going on in your life and your career. If they have particular traits that you like ask them about how they build themselves up. And I think more than that, there’s a real value in just observing a person even from a distance. For example, I’d love to be mentored by Jennifer Hyman (CEO of rent the runway) but I haven’t quite found a way to do it yet. So … I watch every video every interview, listen to every podcast she’s been on and hope that her work ethos and driven mentality somehow rubs off. And I think ultimately, there’s not one person out there that I want to be like 100%. But, I take little pieces off of many and hope that it culminates into the ideal individual that I aspire to be.