Knowing where to start - who will be my mentor?
The majority of in-company mentoring schemes are managed by the human resources department or a dedicated scheme co-ordinator. If you are interested in finding a mentor within your company it is recommended that you contact them to advise them of your interest. They will have names of employees who have signed up as mentors and who will have been trained. They will have policies and procedures on the best way to make contact, how to start the relationship, and which procedures to follow.
If your company has an IET accredited professional development scheme, it will have a mentoring scheme. Again, it is recommended that you contact your company's dedicated scheme co-ordinator to advise them of your interest in finding an in-company mentor.
Firstly, you need to know what you want a mentor for. Is it for general support within your job role? Do you feel that you want to progress further within the company and feel you need some guidance on getting there? Did you want guidance through to professional registration or help applying for registration?
Work out what you want, when you want it and start putting together an action plan. This way when you come to finding a mentor within your company you will be ready to start straight away.
If you require further information about your company's policies and procedures, or how to apply for roles in the company, start by finding someone that has this knowledge behind them, speak to people within your company that will have experience in the processes of the company. Your mentor cannot be in direct supervision of you, but it can be someone that works alongside you. Your mentor will not need to be professionally registered if the relationship is not based on registration.
Not all companies have mentors that are professionally registered, this would be something you will need to ask. Your HR department may be able to help, but they may have restrictions due to data protection. Your manager may also know people so it's worth asking. You may also work for a very small company, so this may not even be an option for you.
If your company does not have a formalised mentoring scheme, you may wish to approach a colleague about becoming a mentor. It is a good idea to think about what you hope to achieve by having a mentor so that you can discuss this with any potential mentors.
A potential mentor is likely to have many questions about the role of a mentor and what is involved in terms of time and commitment. The documents and information sheets within our mentoring resources provide information for mentors and mentees that will help you structure your relationship.
If you are unable to find a suitable mentor in your company, and are a member of the IET you can apply for an external mentor through the mentoring service.