Mentoring can be an incredibly powerful tool to help advance your career. Whether you’re the mentor or the mentee you can expect to learn, enjoy career growth and gain perspective about life in general. Mentoring might seem a little bit old fashioned but in these uncertain times and with career paths becoming more varied, having a mentoring program on hand can be the difference between moderate success and a really outstanding career.

At Manchester Young Professionals, we’re passionate about career development and mentoring support so in today’s blog we’re going to be taking a deep dive into the topic of mentoring. We’ll examine what the mentoring process looks, how to find a suitable mentor and how it can create greater resilience and work-life balance.

If you’re a young professional in their 20’s and 30’s based in Manchester and are looking to grow your network then please get in touch with the team here at Manchester Young Professionals. For years now we have worked hard to develop a culture of inclusivity and moral support to help people across this great city reach their career goals. Get in touch with us on 0161 327 1385 or sign up today!

Our MYP Mentoring Programme Launches Soon!

We’re excited to be launching MYP Mentoring next Tuesday 12th January, a cross-industry initiative, pairing like-minded individuals in different stages of their careers.

With such a dynamic and diverse young professionals community, and given the current environment, we feel that now is the ideal time to bring the MYP community closer together than ever before, to build up your network and develop one another in the process.

The desire to consistently learn and progress has never more been at the forefront of people’s minds. 91% of Millennials say the opportunity for rapid career progression is one of the most important things about their job, according to the Robert Walters white-paper – ‘Attracting and Retaining Millennial Professionals’.

Short-term jobs are here to stay: according to the 2019 Yello Recruiting Study, Generation Z (those born between 1997 and 2012) plans to move on from their current employer in three years or less, and only one in four plan to work for an employer for five years or more.

We’ll be releasing more details next week about the signup process, but in short, there will be a simple form to complete on our website where you can apply to be a Mentor, Mentee or both depending on what stage of your career that you’re in.

Whether you’re a Trainee or an Undergraduate, Associate or Director, there are opportunities to develop and also to learn from others in the MYP community.

Keep your eyes out for the launch email on Tuesday 12th January.

“The MYP Mentoring Programme is such an exciting initiative and will be an invaluable platform for our local professional community. What a great way to keep us moving and connected in a meaningful way during the Covid-19 pandemic, considering the effect lockdown has had on making new connections.” Well said, Jessica!

What Is Mentoring?

mentoring programme, at the most basic level, is one experienced individual mentoring another person who might be younger, in the same or a different industry and generally with less experience. Mentoring focuses on the future and looks to improve the broader, personable skills needed for professional development.

Jessica Nield, Senior MBA Careers Consultant, Alliance Manchester Business School comments:

“Mentoring is an excellent, mutually beneficial platform to connect, network and develop. You may in fact already have a mentor in a colleague, manager or friend without realising. If so, think back to who this may be and what you have gained from their guidance and support so far. Now imagine the impact on your professional development, if you were to enter into a more structured, goal-oriented mentor relationship with a senior manager who has decided to give up their time to help you realise your potential?”

A mentoring relationship is voluntary on both sides and is a great way to give back to your local professional community, outside of your work commitments. It allows the mentor to put their experience and knowledge into practice, to help steer and advise their mentee who is at the relative beginning of their own career journey. It can also provide an opportunity for the mentor to gain insight into emerging themes, practices and cultural changes in their sector.

Mentoring can be split into two broad categories – formal and informal mentoring programmes. Formal mentoring programs are sometimes set up by companies to give younger employees a chance to pick the brains of someone who is at a later stage of their career. These mentoring schemes are structured, often based around a set objective or defined time limit. Informal mentoring schemes tend to be more open-ended, relaxed and not necessarily based around a goal.

Why Mentoring Could Benefit You?

As a young professional based in Manchester, mentoring could absolutely benefit you. Why? Well, it gives you the opportunity to talk to someone with a great deal of experience in an industry that interests you. Day-to-day it is hard to get any sort of facetime with these sorts of professionals so by opting into a mentoring relationship with them you have access to someone who is a role model.

A mentoring scheme could help you ensure your career development remains on the up. They are able to provide insights and advice about the inner workings of the industry which can give you the upper hand in your own work environment. Knowledge is power after all!

Often in our career, it is easy to be so focused on the present that we forget to prioritise professional development. Mentoring gives you the opportunity to dedicate meaningful time to your own personal development; a worthwhile investment. A mentoring relationship is an excellent way for you to factor in time to work on your development, whilst building your network. How often in life do you get the opportunity to engage with a senior manager, one to one, in a safe and impartial environment?

For the mentor the benefits, while subtle, are still priceless. Firstly, doing a good thing is always a rewarding experience and in addition, you might find that you learn something about yourself that you hadn’t considered prior to agreeing to be part of a mentoring relationship. Mentoring roles can give the mentor perspective and time to reflect on their own career for the benefit of the mentee and themselves.

The Roles Of A Mentor

There are 6 key roles a mentor must perform during a mentoring session and beyond, they are:

  • Manage the relationship – As the person with the experience, they must be the person who manages the mentoring relationship. By taking on this task they allow the mentee to focus on themselves and their own career development.
  • Encourage – A mentor should encourage the mentee to feel confident about themselves and their career choices. An effective mentor will empower the mentee to make decisions that benefit them and allow them to come out of their shell a bit more.
  • Nurture – Mentoring takes time, especially if the mentee is shy, quiet or lacks confidence. A mentor should recognise this and take the time to nurture the relationship so that, over time, the mentee feels confident in their professional development.
  • Teach – Imparting knowledge is one of the main aspects of mentoring. A mentor should teach, through explaining an experience or imparting wisdom around a particular decision, at every possible opportunity.
  • Offer mutual respect – A mentor should recognise that the mentee does have experiences and may have answers to things that they don’t agree with. It’s about respecting their choices and understanding that they may approach things in other ways.
  • Respond to the learner’s needs – A mentor might go into the mentoring relationship with a plan of action, only for that to be completely upended by the learner’s needs and wants. A mentor should be aware of this and ready to adapt.

Jessica adds, “A mentor can be said to be a coach, ambassador and counsellor combined into one and will at times find themselves wearing all three hats at once. A mentee has the chance to learn from another’s journey, both successes and failures, as well as feel supported in decisions they make throughout the vital early stages of their career.”

She continued, “Many mentees find that the extension of their network that can occur as a result of building a relationship with their mentor can be one of the most valuable, tangible benefits. This requires work on the part of the mentee to earn trust, respect and credibility with their mentor, but if they do so, doors open and new opportunities can arise.

“Not only will you be able to learn from someone more senior than yourself, but you will gain confidence. Many mentees report an increased ability to understand, work with and present to senior leadership and stakeholders after building a successful relationship with their mentor. This helps to bridge the gap between workforce generations.

“I find that one of the most exciting aspects of mentoring is how the fluid and evolving nature of the relationship due to the focus on growth and development, paves the way for the mentee to eventually become a mentor themselves. By taking a pro-active approach to add mentoring into your professional development now, you will reap the rewards in future.”

Contact Manchester Young Professionals Today For More Information

We hope this guide has educated you about the benefits of a mentoring relationship, for both the mentor and the mentee.

If you’re interested in imparting your wisdom or want to learn more then be sure to get in touch with the team here at Manchester Young Professionals online or by phone on 0161 327 1385. Our inclusive, diverse network is full of experienced professionals and we’d love you to be a part of it.