In my last post, I spoke about Sambavi discovering a new career in digital marketing. When I asked Sambavi what was the key to her successful return to work, she had no hesitation in saying that it was her mentor Shyla’s support.
Let us talk about mentoring and why it can make all the difference in getting back to work after a career break.
At the simplest, a mentor inspires you to be a better version of yourself. A mentor has the qualities you want to build in yourself.
Shyla used to be Sambavi’s boss. She had herself successfully transitioned to marketing a s career after getting an MBA. While she was not an expert in digital marketing, it was one of her areas of interest. When Sambavi reached out to her about restarting her career, their conversation turned to Shyla’s career transition after her MBA. Sambavi says that her curiosity was piqued by how excited Shyla is about her new area of work and she asked Shyla numerous questions about it. Thus began Sambavi’s journey back to work.
A mentor shares information about her own career path
Shyla was to speak in an online panel discussion and invited Sambavi to attend. When Sambavi sent her a short thank you note after the session, Shyla initiated a conversation about what Sambavi had learned and what she planned to do with it.
A mentor helps to explore careers, set goals and acts as a role model.
Sambavi expressed an interest in the subject and Shyla immediately recommended a course on the basics of Digital Marketing.
A mentor helps identify resources.
Sambavi completed the course and spoke to Shyla about how interesting she found the course. By then Shyla had already identified the next course and a certification that Sambavi could pursue. She also volunteered to help if Sambavi had any difficulty with the course material.
A mentor provides guidance, motivation and emotional support.
Sambavi signed up for the second course and went one step further. She started contributing to a friend’s blog. As she worked on the course, she wrote content, worked on SEO and SMM.
Her hands-on experience helped her get a better understanding of the methods used by each function by the time she completed the programme. During those six months, she needed to tap Shyla for her expertise only twice. But knowing she had a mentor boosted her confidence.
As you can see, a mentor adds tremendous value and can make all the difference to your career.
If you’re about to start your search for a mentor, look for a successful expert who offers four things:
Availability – are they willing to spend time with you? Are they willing to share their experience, and guide you?
Accessibility – can they be reached easily? Are they open to communicating on multiple channels as needed? Do you feel that you can call them and that they will return your call? Will they respond to a text message within a day?
Active Listening – do they pay attention to what you’re saying (and sometimes, not saying)? Do they pick up nuances in the conversation? Do they let you speak, or do they interrupt you often?
Achievement Orientation –Do they give you constructive feedback? Do they hold you accountable for what you said you would do?
And when you do find a mentor, be respectful of their time and appreciative of their generosity in helping you build your career. Much like teachers, they feel rewarded when their mentees succeed and make them proud.
All the Best!
indePenn coaches and prepares women on a career break returning to work, to present themselves as confident professionals.
Once you’ve identified your new area of work, we connect you to a guide/mentor who will work with you to build an intensive upskilling programme.
Visit us at indePenn.com and Sign Up – we’ll handhold you through the process of getting back to work.
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