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How Can I Get a Mentor?

(10 Posts)
DickWhittingtonsCat Fri 29-Apr-05 17:42:03

I have been giving a lot of thought to my professional development. I am down about a few things, and feel that I am not getting the success or opportunities that I deserve, relative to childless people and esp men. I know they work longer hours than me but I don't think it's just that; I think I'm not being offered all the opportunities that I could benefit from - not sure exactly why, and how to change other people's perceptions. I have recently been trying out a few new things, and they have been working. A friend in another profession said I need a mentor and it's proven that women with mentors succeed equally with men at work. We have a few older women at work but I don't feel that I could trust or confide in them. There are a few older men at work whom I go to for advice, but they don't have a mother's perspective. I don't necessarily think my mentor would have to be in my profession. I am looking for a mother aged in her 50s say, who has always or nearly always worked full-time, and who feels that she has not forfeited professional success because of her family, and has some tips to give me about male/ female work issues, how to advance, ask for things at work, make opportunities etc. Any ideas?!

miranda2 Wed 04-May-05 16:01:32

what do you do? Is there a professional body you could get a contact through? The Institute of Directors? Or a females in management type organisation? Or try reading professional journals to spot someone who might fit the bill and emailing them out of hte blue - I imagine they'd be flattered and even if when you met up they weren't right for you or were too busy, they could probably suggest someone else.

Marina Wed 04-May-05 16:04:40

I think you need to look outside your profession, to be honest DWC. Not sure where you would start though...

KatieMac Wed 04-May-05 19:06:33

I did a Springboard course which changed my life

Have you thought about womens enterprise groups like WEETU (look up on Google - there may be one in your area)

bundle Wed 04-May-05 19:09:48

this group fo women engineers runs mentoring projects but not sure if they do it for outside engineering..

LemonDrizzle Wed 04-May-05 19:17:31

We have a netoring programme in the organisation I work. They are very beneficial to both mentor and mentee if done correctly.

Is your firm big enough to have a hr department? If so I would approach them with the idea. I also wouldn't necessarily have said get a women. All my mentors have been men and they can help development just as much. Men are surprisingly good sounding boreds.

Furball Wed 04-May-05 19:42:48

I'm doing a mentoring course at the moment through our local college. I'm sure if you contacted your local college they would know exactly where you could get in touch with one. It seems to be the done thing these days to have a mentor.

DickWhittingtonsCat Fri 06-May-05 10:15:11

Thank you for your messages. The whole idea of wanting a mentor is regarded as a big joke in my workplace so I am quite reassured by your remarks. I have thought of one extremely senior man in my profession whom I know has a bit of a soft spot for me but whom I normally only see once or twice a year, and also an extremely senior woman who is the mother of a girl I was at school with. I think I will start by asking them if they would mentor me (I'm scared they will say, no, too busy, or say yes but then nothing happen). If they ask me what exactly I am expecting from them, what should I say? I'm not sure myself but I would certainly like to start with the chance to meet face-to-face every few months, and be able to call them sometimes.

HandbagAddiction Fri 06-May-05 10:30:58

DWC - not sure exactly what field you work in..but what about Women in Banking and Finance?? Don't know huge amounts about it and am not a member myself but do know that they have a lot of inspirational people as members who might make ideal mentors, e.g. Srah Deeves, CEO of Coutts who is a full-time working mother with two young children.

DickWhittingtonsCat Thu 19-May-05 09:54:02

Just to let you know that I have become involved with a scheme. They are also looking for mentors for women who are young working mothers, so I offered to be a mentor as well as saying I am looking for one. I have also realised that I need some training/ to read some books about this because these days I am responsible for assessing and "looking after" candidates at work and I want to do it well. I emailed the US author of a book which impressed me, and she has today sent me a personal email recommending a friend who runs communication and presentational and leadership training courses in London. The website is very impressive and seems exactly what I am looking for. Ironically, their offices are about 10 mins from my home, but I would never have found out about them if I had not emailed this author in America! It just shows how many wonderful opportunities to learn and advance and get help are around us, but we don't know it until we become discontented enough to look around!

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