Can women have a successful career without a mentor?
Having a mentor is the current recommended “must have” professional confidant who is said to be necessary to give your career that extra boost. Most European organizations (a whopping 90% ) are SMEs with very few female role models to become mentors in the first place and limited budgets to hire external ones. So what if you can’t find someone to assume that role? Will your career without a mentor grind to an abrupt halt? No it probably won’t. Some of the challenges may be a little tougher to navigate and success maybe a little slower, but there are other alternatives.
A mentor is defined as someone who can guide you based on his or her personal experience and area of expertise. They are not intended to be your BFF, sponsor, coach and counsellor in one magic person.
Follow these tips to manage your career without a mentor
#Attend Webinars and podcasts
The most value from any mentoring relationship is being able to tap into expert advice when you need it. Dozens of career coaches and experts give webinars and podcasts and many of them are free. So do your research and decide who you think would be worth following and look out for their sessions.
Some of these sessions are interactive. You can pose your questions at the time. Or you can listen to recordings if there is one available
#Blogs and social media
Many career and specialist coaches give excellent tips and tricks on their blogs. Instead of deleting or unsubscribing from any newsletters, start looking out for their posts. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are also good places to go. Check out your update stream every day. Eventually you will sort the wheat from the chaff and find out the ones you want to follow. We recommend for starters:
3Plus publishes daily with contributions from top international coaches and specialist, with a new topic that impacts women. Choose wisely because there are also some inexperienced and even poor coaches out there;
- Female Breadwinner? 3 Top Tips to make it work By Jenny Garett,
- 10 Pieces of Information Your Professional Resume Leaks by Donna Svei,
- How to Get Others to Notice You Changed by Marcia Reynolds
We also do a weekly round-up. Sign up here
#Look closer to home
We all have an idea that a mentor must be a senior executive, but very often sage advice can come from people in different areas of your life. They they don’t even have to be senior professionals to give you helpful advice. They can be family members, friends, neighbors and other social contacts. All will have working or professional experience you can tap into.
# Raising your visibility
We all know that networking is everything. And it is possible to manage your career without a mentor to raise your visibility and make those valiable network introductions. Broaden your reach by going to local events if there are any. Join a Chamber of Commerce, attend sector conferences or workshops and even semi-professional social groups such as Meet-Up and Internations.
Join women’s networks – there are always groups in your area. In Europe look at Costa Women and Women in Adria. In the US Lean organization launched by Sheryl Sandberg has hundreds of local groups You can attend conferences such as JUMP in Brussels, Paris and Lyon. 3Plus has its own Mini-Mentoring event. Very often if you can’t attend an event in person, online options are always available.
# Online mentor
3Plus has a Gold Membership which will connect you with an online mentor plus 2 basic career coaching sessions. Check it out here