From Jas, the mentee: being completely honest, I’d never considered becoming a mentee, until a colleague suggested it (and I’m so glad she did). I’m experienced in some aspects of pensions but being an in-house pensions manager can feel pretty silo, and is sometimes overwhelming with the amount of activity you have to deal with, with little or no support. I’m a motivated and driven individual but was having trouble in seeing how to develop my career path (because, let’s face it, we all have career aspirations and some of us need a gentle steer on how to get there).
When I sat down and actually thought about what I wanted to achieve by joining this programme, these were my top three wants:
- Explore new approaches and techniques (influencing and relationship management)
- Upcoming projects (things that I’d never worked on before)
- My future goals and career aspirations (where do I go/what do I do next?).
It’s so important to find the best fit for you. When I first applied to be a part of this program, I was matched up with someone who was early on in their pensions career. When I explored their LinkedIn profile and looked through their work experience my initial thought was they were probably not able to provide me with the guidance and level of support for the areas I was seeking development in. In our first meeting and subsequent conversations we both agreed that we were not suitably paired due to our differences in objectives and levels of experience, so don’t be afraid to speak freely about the expectations you have or the outcomes you wish to achieve out of the mentor/mentee relationship.
I got matched up with Paul, someone who has worked in so many different areas within pensions and has a wealth of experience to share. After our first intro meeting, he told me to go away and think about whether we are a good fit and if I wanted to continue with sessions moving forward – I didn’t need to think about it, I just knew. Our initial conversation flowed beautifully and there was a positive energy about it all. For me personally, communication is key so it’s important to be comfortable speaking to your mentor.
A perfect mix...
Paul set a discipline for our sessions from the outset. Our sessions are varied and can consist of short exercises to help me visualise and stretch my thinking; Paul’s top four reads (and how many of these I’ve read) as well as talking me through some of his experiences and how these can be applied to the scenarios I’m facing. And sometimes, we just talk about the things I’ve accomplished since our last session. After just three sessions I can feel the benefits of this programme. If you can match yourself with the right mentor the rewards can be very promising.
This article was featured in Pensions Aspects magazine October edition.
Last update: 7 October 2021
Salary: £50000 pa
Location: Mix of Office (London or Birmingham, 1-day only) and Home
Salary: £100000 pa
Location: Home Working
Salary: £50000 - £80000 pa
Location: London (Stratford)