Employer blog: Taking small steps with mentoring
October 24, 2022 | Social Mobility Commission
October 27th marks the ninth National Mentoring Day, an opportunity to raise awareness of the benefits of mentoring and encourage more people to get involved!
We know that mentoring can play a key role in supporting workplace progression, and we’re delighted to be running a masterclass on October 27th, exploring ‘Mentoring as a tool to support social mobility’. We’ll be hearing from a variety of panellists including a former mentor and mentee, and the founder of a large-scale mentoring programme. There’s still time to register, if you’re interested in finding out more about the many benefits of mentoring!
In today’s blog, Simran, a former mentee on Creative Mentor Network’s Amazon Bright Sparks programme, and now CMN’s Social Media and Marketing Executive, describes how mentoring helped her build confidence and get a job she loves.
“Creative Mentor Network’s mentoring programmes help to bridge the gap between career aspirations and opportunities for young and ambitious creatives from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Despite growing up in a household that was supportive of whatever direction I went with my career, I didn’t have access to the professional networks, experience and knowledge that could inform the decisions I made about my future.
A friend of mine sent me a link to Creative Mentor Network’s website and I applied as soon as I could; I felt stuck with where I was and felt like having a mentor would help me take a step in the right direction. After my time as a mentee on CMN’s programme with Amazon Bright Sparks, I can now confidently say that I’ve smashed through a wall that many young creatives struggle with; I know exactly what I want to do.
I had the opportunity to be mentored by Juliette, the Social Country Lead at Prime Video. She was a perfect match for several reasons, one of them being that, at that time, I had a job in social media that I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue pursuing. So naturally, when Juliette asked what I wanted to focus on in our first meeting, my response was messy. But it didn’t matter because through our sessions, we broke it all down.
Alongside connecting me with professionals in the different fields I was interested in, Juliette taught me more about what progression in social media looked like, and showed me that there were more pathways than I had initially thought.
It also didn’t take long until we realised that a lot of my uncertainty around continuing to work in social media stemmed from the lack of confidence I had in my then workspace. Together, we came up with some techniques to tackle this. Silence was okay, I didn’t have to fill it with apologies. Every time I felt uncomfortable, I just had to pause for a couple of seconds. 1. 2. 3. If I needed more time, I just had to ask a question that affirmed what they were asking of me. With these small actions, I became more acquainted with my voice and began to love how social media let me amplify it.
Like fate, I saw that CMN was hiring a Social Media and Marketing Executive. Together, Juliette and I discussed if this was a good step to take, and, after agreeing, we worked on my CV and practised effective interview techniques (after a questionable first attempt).
Thanks to mentoring, I now have a job I love. I get to tell the stories of our community of mentees and mentors and raise awareness of CMN’s mission of diversifying the creative industries. Ultimately, mentoring helped break down my uncertainty about my career path and build small steps that are gradually taking me toward my goals.”
Creative Mentor Network (CMN) was built on the belief that the creative industries should reflect the diversity of our society. Their key goal is to create a more accessible and inclusive future for the creative industries, supporting young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds through mentoring programmes.
You can find out more about CMN in our Organisation Directory, or join us at our ‘Mentoring as a tool to support social mobility’ masterclass.
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