Mentoring is a developmental relationship whereby, “a mentor oversees the career and development of another person (mentee)… through teaching, counselling, providing psychological support, protecting and, at times, promoting or sponsoring.” (Michael Zey, the Mentor Connection)
Finding a mentor might be one of the most important strategic career decisions you make. Many renowned professionals – especially women – have attributed their success to having a mentor.
Having a mentor outside your team or department enables discussions to take place that may not be suitable to have with a direct manager.
Mentors help to define long-term goals, ambitions and aims, and help create an environment where the mentee becomes in control, reaching their maximum potential for development and buy-in.
There is a common misconception that your mentor has to be older than you or a level above you.
Mentors can be younger than you – especially if they have specialized knowledge or experience. Do not underestimate what you can achieve from partnering with your peers as they will have complementary skills and experiences.
Becoming a mentor requires a willingness to share, listen, and provide advice in a flexible relationship shaped by the needs of the mentee.
While most mentoring programs are designed primarily for the mentees, mentors can enjoy rewards as well, such as career development, networking and building management skills.
Mentoring is a core development opportunity available to everyone at Enterprise. In addition to sponsoring employee mentoring, Enterprise also partners with external organisations such as The Bridge Builders Mentoring Scheme and Girls Out Loud to offer employees the opportunity to mentor young people outside of Enterprise.
The Bridge Builders Mentoring Scheme is a charity targeted at boys and girls from low-income families. One of our local HR Managers, Kerry Moran, works with a local school to provide mentors:
“Being a mentor really highlights the importance of communication styles. You might be dealing with a young person that is really disruptive and then someone who is very quiet and closed off. You need to learn how to switch your communication style and get your message across.”
Girls Out Loud runs a mentoring scheme called ‘The Big Sister Programme’ which targets the girls who sit in the middle: they “cruise” through school and are in danger of becoming invisible as they are neither seriously disruptive, nor super academically gifted. Shannon Betterman, Financial Controller for our North West area, is actively involved in ‘Big Sisters’:
“Mentoring is a great opportunity for our female employees to make a difference in a young girl’s life and also build their own skillset at the same time as doing something good for the community.”
Join us on our graduate programme, and you’ll benefit from an award-winning training and development programme that includes mentoring support throughout your career.