We can all agree or disagree about many things in today’s stretched financial climate, but the one issue we can probably all agree on is the difficulty that young people face as they try to get the foot on the career ladder. We may have sympathy, but know from experience that dips and recessions are cyclical: eventually things will turn themselves around and we’ll all be in a happier place. Unfortunately that acts as little comfort for the under 25 age group either searching for work, or looking round for something better and more challenging. But what can the younger generation do to improve their lot? Do they go down the well-trodden path and head off to higher education, or do they bite the bullet and try to get a job, any job in fact, and hope that it will act as a springboard to better opportunities somewhere down the line? These are the type of questions they probably ask themselves all the time, yet there are few resources out there to guide them. The Careers Service has had its funding cut as part of the spending review and will, no doubt, be unable to cope with the sheer numbers involved. Where else can they turn to for advice and information? Well, that’s where mentors come into the equation.Match Me provides a tailored service that puts people facing challenges and difficulties in touch with the kind of mentors who will be able to offer impartial, honest and confidential information. Mentor Match Me’s career mentors have the right kind of knowledge and experience to help you choose the right career path.
How does arelationship work?
A mentor is the kind of person you can speak to openly and honestly. You may not know which career path to choose, or may have already started off in one chosen career and wish to change direction. The true value of a mentor is the ability to offer impartial and honest advice. Sometimes this may not be the information that the mentee might want to hear, but that unfortunately is part of the price for open and honest dialogue. A mentoring relationship is built on mutual trust and respect. If the relationship doesn’t appear to be working, or if there is no chemistry between you, then maybe it’s time to look elsewhere. Mentees need to choose the right mentor to match their expectations and aspirations, otherwise there will be little gained from the relationship.
How can mentoring help to inform your career choice?
Clear, concise and impartial advice
A mentor can act as a sort of sounding board when you’re mulling over what to do next with your life. It doesn’t matter whether that’s looking for a new job, or looking to change careers. Mentors will work in your best interest, but are able look at matters impartially. They’ll be able to offer an honest assessment of how your career has progressed thus far, and what you might need to do to take it further. They can also be pretty useful at giving you a bit of a kick in the pants when you lose focus and take your eye off the ball. What they won’t be able to do is tell you to take a specific job or to change careers per se; yes they will be able to give you all the relevant information should you choose to act, but that’s as far as it goes. Mentees ultimately make the choices: mentors merely spell out what the available options are, and will point out the advantages and drawbacks of a specific course of action.
Mentors can also be valuable sources of advice and guidance in terms of career development. You may wish to gain further accredited qualifications in the hope of furthering your senior management prospects, or you might even wish to re-train for a different profession altogether. Most mentors will have been in a similar position themselves, and will probably have expert knowledge of your industry. If they don’t, the chances are they’ll know someone who does. They’ll also know what courses of action will prove to be the most effective, and will make suggestions based on their own experience. Obviously, mentees shouldn’t be afraid to challenge the advice if they believe it to be inappropriate or inaccurate. There’s no guarantee that what worked in the past will still work, after all.
Mentors can open doors
Because mentors will generally have years of experience in commerce or industry, they’ll have a substantial number of business contacts. They can help to introduce you to people who might be able to help you with your chosen career path. They may even be able to put you directly in touch with those people who are looking to recruit. However, it’s worth noting that if this does happen, then it’s an added bonus: not part and parcel of their role as a mentor.