The Career Conversation: The Benefits of Having a Mentor Part 2
Before you and the mentor meet, it can be beneficial to do a personal ‘stock-take’ of your current position and what you are thinking is your next career move. Ask yourself questions like:
- “What is prompting me to consider making a career change?”
- “What differences will this change make for me professionally? Personally?”
- “What values guide me?”
- “What are my key motivators? What gives me inspiration?”
- “What interests me?”
- “What (if any) aspects of my career experience to date do I want to retain? Take in to a new career?”
SKILLS and VALUES INVENTORY
Another good idea is to create a personal skills and values inventory. This exercise will help you to identify and confirm what you bring to your new/revised career. Being clear about what your skills and values are will help you make the decision for “Where to next?”
Draw up two columns headed ‘Skills’ and ‘Values’. List your core skills and core values and keep adding to this as you reflect on your past career experiences and achievements. Then, highlight or underline the skills and values that you believe will give you direction in your career decision. Ask yourself how the values and skills you have identified fit with the way you want to work now and in the future.
Having a successful career is completely subjective. What one person views as success and satisfaction in their career can be very different from the next person. You need to consider what YOU want to achieve, what your goals are for your career and some potential actions you can take. As mentioned in the beginning of this article, having a mentor is a valuable way to get support in this journey. The Career Conversation is just that – a supportive conversation with a mentor about your goals and your thoughts about what you want, or, an opportunity to voice your doubts and admit you are stuck.
The Career Conversation isn’t a one-sided dialogue with someone telling you what to do and how to do it (although sometimes you feel like this would be so much easier!). Find a mentor who ticks the interpersonal qualities and skills you are looking for, someone who will help you commence, traverse or transition through your career path.