When you are hunting for a job, it is easy to reason to yourself you are too busy for something as “untargeted” as mentoring. You have too many job search engines to check; these engines are suggesting too many jobs, to all of which you need to send out a somewhat tailored version of your c.v. No time for “chatting”!
Going about it this way is a great if you are hoping to get just any job. Alternatively, choose to invest in mentoring, have the mentor help you to become targeted in your job hunt and find a job you genuinely desire to have, rather than just one you can have.
During the 16 years of my career, I surely have been unfocused at times. I certainly lost time wandering off in the wrong direction and at times, making my career move has felt like trying to make a container ship change its course. From all that, I have learned lessons.
Though I cannot prevent my younger self anymore from that struggle or encourage her to sooner replicate the success factors, what I can do is help others: I ask them the questions that I wish someone had asked me!! Rather than advising what job they could possibly get hired for, I help mentees to properly structure their thoughts about the job they genuinely want to have.
Typically, most of my mentees initially reach out to me asking to review their c.v. I never turn down a request for mentoring, but I do not read the c.v. First, I meet the mentee, get to know who they are and discern what energizes them. Only thereafter do I compare their story to what their c.v. tells me.
I work in marketing, so I often compare job hunting to marketing. With my mentee, I determine what the “marketing strategy” for this great “service” we have on offer, should look like. I love exploring together with my mentee what is unique about him/her and making a marketing plan together. Correction – most of all I love hearing about the job they choose!