As we gradually see the pandemic restrictions being lifted, it is clear that life will never return to the same ‘normal” as pre-pandemic. The workplace has undergone a quiet revolution in terms of the way people now want to work and it has been proven that new ways of working can be implemented.
For many, home working or partial homeworking has become the norm and is likely to remain that way. While this brings many advantages it also brings its own challenges.
According to Buffers 2019 State of Remote Work report the biggest challenges faced by remote workers were:
22% unplugging after work,
8% staying motivated
Of course, these are challenges that can still be faced even if you are going to a place of work.
Throughout the pandemic we found that mentoring can play a key role in overcoming many of these challenges.
Career development is another important area that mentoring can play a key role. Career development takes constant work, and when you work remotely, you may need to find additional support to ensure that you career doesn’t stall.
Mentoring can play a vital role in helping in career development, whether you are back in your workplace or working from home. Here are just a few of the areas where mentoring can help.
Knowledge and Skills
Knowledge and skills form the bedrock of any career, and it is important that you continue to hone and develop your knowledge and skills throughout your career, pursuing your interests which in turn will inspire your curiosity and keep you engaged and motivated. A rapidly changing workplace means that it is now more important than ever to ensure that you develop new skills to keep your skill set and working practices relevant. This may mean that you need to participate in some reverse mentoring, working with a younger person. Reverse mentoring relationships can be very valuable in enabling both parties to develop different skills, knowledge and experience – it certainly won’t be a one-way exchange.
Networking and Visibility
One of the big dangers of remote working is that you can lose touch with your colleagues. Networking is an essential way for professionals to stay connected, relevant and up to date with their industries. By working with a mentor, you will be expanding your network and improving your visibility either within your organisation or your profession and your mentor may be willing to help you make important connections within their network.
Career Vision and Planning
In today’s fast paced work environment, it is easy to get so bogged down in day-to-day activities, that your career just drifts, and you don’t take the time to stand back and look at where your career is, where you would like it to be and what you need to do to get there. By working with a mentor, you can ensure that you will make the time to work on your career vision and by working with another professional it may throw up new options and directions you hadn’t even considered. It may give you the confidence to set your goals even higher and be extremely motivating.
Opportunities are the key to any successful career development but may not always be obvious or come knocking on your door. Working with a mentor could help you to uncover some important opportunities that may otherwise have passed you by.
NAHT’s Mentoring Platform
Free to NAHT members, our mentoring platform provides a space for school leaders to share and gain knowledge that will benefit those starting their leadership journey as well as seasoned leaders.
If you would be willing to share your skills and experience with others or think you could benefit from a mentor then why not take a look at our mentoring programme.