What do you think makes a good mentor? | DMA

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What do you think makes a good mentor?


Relatable, honest, patient.

These are a handful of the words that have been thrown around the office in response to the question, ‘what makes a good mentor?’, but what do you think?

The Careers and Enterprise Company are running a campaign to encourage individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds and professions to come forward as mentors. #unexpectedmentor aims to challenge the perception of what makes a good mentor, inspiring people to consider the benefit their skill-set would bring in guiding a young person.

The campaign starts today (Friday 27th Oct), which is also conveniently National Mentoring Day, and as supporters of this, DMA Talent are asking you to reflect on the part you could play in a mentoring relationship. The desire to help and nurture a young person seems consistent, but there’s a call for a more diverse army of individuals ready to support young people whether that be career-related or in a more personal development sense.

We’re no strangers to mentoring ourselves; the DMA Mentoring Scheme is now in its 3rd year and it’s going from strength to strength. Jack Lowman, author and founder of Hack Yourself said, “One thing a mentor needs to possess is ‘belief’ in the potential of the mentee. An optimistic, future-focused approach is crucial to enable the person to feel safe and open to becoming the best they can be.”

Dominic Quantril of The Quantril Partnership said, "Having a positive mentor in life is arguably one of the most valuable assets someone can have, be it with a work related emphasis or simply as a sounding board for ideas and the situations it can influence or as an independent opinion former. I have had a mentor before through work and I currently am mentoring a young entrepreneur through the DMA’s mentoring scheme and cannot endorse this project highly enough. If I had to sum up in one word, it would be ‘invaluable’."

What’s consistent is a drive to support and guide a young person to be the best version of themselves; the defining skills and technical capabilities are not. Whether you see your skills as suited to being a careers enterprise advisor in your local school where the focus could be on developing a business strategy for example (Careers & Enterprise schools careers and enterprise report downloadable here); or, on a more personalised one to one basis, the call for greater diversity is encouraging, and confirms the importance of each and every individual involved in the range of mentoring programmes available.

There’s a variety of young people waiting for guidance towards making decisions both professionally and personally. Head here to find out more about the campaign and how you can get involved through a number of partnerships.

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