What’s the point in having a mentor?
Looking to return to work, but don’t know where to start? Then it’s time to get a mentor.
Sometimes we all need a sounding board, whether it’s for advice about your CV, tips on how to respond to specific questions in an interview, or even what to wear to get that job. Friends and family are great, but there are times when we’d all like an impartial opinion from a qualified professional for pointers and the chance to tap into their knowledge and expertise.
This is when you need a mentor. They can give you the answers to your questions and help point you in the right career direction. Quite simply, a mentor will offer support and guidance in order to help you get the role you want.
If you’re a parent or carer looking to return to work after a career break then this is when a mentor can prove invaluable. If you’ve been on an extended break for a few years and you feel a bit out of touch, then the whole job search process can seem a bit daunting and confusing. Especially if you need to work part-time or flexibly but you’re not sure how to ask or approach this with the employer.
In fact, 5.4 million people in the UK work flexibly, but more than half of those looking for a flexible job are too nervous to ask about it if it isn’t included in the advert. A mentor can talk you through how you might approach or handle situations like this, and our free Guide to finding a Part-time and Flexible Job can also help answer those questions or give you some pointers that you can pick-up with a mentor.
It can be hard to recognise our own skills and strong points, but a mentor will help identify them with you. They will also work with you on whatever you feel you need help with and can identify your strengths and skills to help build confidence and self-esteem.
A mentor can be really effective when making the transition back to work, which is why The Hire Me My Way team works with the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) on their Steps Ahead Mentoring programme. The CIPD is the UK’s main professional body for HR and people development, so they know all there is to know about searching and finding a job. In fact, 73% of people who complete the Steps Ahead programme go on to find work or work experience.
Steps Ahead mentors are HR professionals who really know and understand what employers want. You can meet in person, or get advice and guidance over the phone or Skype – whatever suits you best. Your mentor may even be able to arrange work experience or visit opportunities at their organisation.
Steps Ahead Mentoring is provided free of charge for parents and carers with household income of £40,000 or less. Currently it is available in North West England and in the Midlands from September 2016 and rolling out across the country over the next few months.
Click here to see if you qualify – or to register your interest for when the programme rolls out to other areas.