National Mentoring Day: Mentoring FAQs
AXIS Network is passionate about the role mentoring has in supporting women in closing the gender gap in business leadership. Research shows that mentoring is particularly helpful to women in addressing the many barriers they face in developing and furthering their career. To celebrate National Mentoring Day we answer some questions you may be asking yourself about mentoring and its benefits both as a mentor and mentee.
Why do I need a mentor?
Do you want to advance your career by learning from someone that can help bridge a gap between what you know and what you think you need to know?
Have you reached a block and want someone who’s been there and has direct experience?
Would having a confidential, trusted sounding board help?
If the answer is yes to any of the above, then a mentor can help. A mentor can help you pause and reflect on what’s important for you and your career. They can strengthen your network by sharing contacts with you so that you see different perspectives. They can also challenge your way of thinking in a good way and help you see new perspectives or solutions.
Considering being a mentor?
Many of us have valuable experience we can share. What’s your reason for wanting to mentor? How will mentoring develop you and your career? It’s an important question as while it’s often fulfilling, it’s not always easy! Perhaps you want to give back by supporting the development of someone else or you want to share your experience so that another can benefit and learn from it. You may be surprised to learn the best mentorships benefit both parties and can help you learn about your own strengths and weaknesses and introduce new ways of thinking to you in return.
Does gender matter when seeking a mentor?
Typically no, it does not. However, it could also depend on what you would like support with. Return to work following parental leave for example, is an area where currently, female mentors are likely to have more experience.
Can I have more than one mentor?
Yes! Having mentors throughout your career is a sign of strength. It shows that you recognise that you don’t have all the answers and that people have different experiences that can help you. Having more than one at once is also good if you have the capacity of course! Picking mentors that have expertise and experience in different areas will accelerate your growth and development.
Where can I find a mentor?
Does your organization have a mentoring scheme that you could join? Great. If your organisation doesn't have a mentoring scheme, ask why not, perhaps one can be set up. Organisations can benefit hugely from nurturing talent from within rather than seeking it externally. There are also many external organisations that offer mentoring schemes not least ours, where we’re busy currently planning for our next cohort.
If you would like to join this OEUK Award nominated scheme (that felt really great to write!), please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll share more details.