National Mentoring Month

What better way to kickstart the new year than to recognise the power of mentoring. A mentor is defined as someone who uses their knowledge to assist a mentee with achieving their career goals. This can be done over a short term or long-term basis and is flexible depending on the mentees goals and experience. This differs to a management relationship which isn’t flexible and consists of the manager overlooking task management, performance monitoring and controlling delegation of the world load of their team. Mentoring is beneficial for everyone involved. Not only does the mentee ultimately achieve their professional goals, but the mentors benefit from development of leadership skills and strengthened communication skills.

So, what is the purpose of National Mentoring Month? This initiative raises awareness about the various ways in which you can mentor others and have a positive effect on people’s lives. Over the past 2 years, WSA has taken on apprentices, who have experienced direct mentoring in their roles to help them achieve their goals and progress in their careers. Find out more about their experiences here…

In the last 18 months, Bea Everatt has worked closely with her manager and mentor, Joe Cuffaro,  to gain an understanding of PR and communications.This has ultimately led to her promotion from PR and Marketing Apprentice to PR and Marketing Executive.

Bea says: “This has been one of my proudest achievements professionally and it’s a reflection of the exceptional level of mentoring I have received throughout my Apprenticeship”. Bea has written about her experience at WSA as an apprentice previously. You can read more about her starting at WSA aswell as getting involved in National Apprenticeship Week.

Her manager, Head of PR and Marketing, Joe Cuffaro goes on to say that mentoring is beneficial “for everyone involved” and that has also learned from having Bea on the team: “Mentoring has certainly helped me with progressing my abilities in management”.

Molly McCarthy has been with WSA for the past two years and with the mentoring of her manager, Digital Lead, Grace Weight, has achieved a promotion from an apprentice to Digital Marketing Assistant. Molly says: “Mentoring has not only allowed me to learn more about a career that I want to be in, but it also allowed me to build a better relationship with my manager and the rest of my team”. Molly has written about her experience within the agency, from her first week at WSA and a reflective account on finishing her apprenticeship.

Joe Cafferty worked in the Account Management team and was mentored by Marc Bransgrove, but recently transitioned to the Digital team for a new role as a Digital Project Executive. He is also mentored by Grace Weight but says that being able to work in two teams within the agency has been a huge benefit to him. Joe says, “The highlight of being mentored for me was the opportunity to learn from individuals with a wealth of knowledge within their field of work”. You can find out more about Joe’s apprenticeship journey so far here.

So what top tips do our mentors and mentees have to share?

  1. Keep an open mind and be eager to learn new skills. Taking on new challenges is great because it helps you to expand your knowledge and learn new areas of your job and will also boost your confidence and planning skills with taking on new tasks. -Joe Cuffaro
  2.  Set up a Mentorship agreement between both parties – this allows you to define what goals you want to achieve, timescales what your ground rules are and what you can both expect from the mentorship. Using SMART goals will allow you to track your progress. Remember that honesty is key so share what learning styles work best for you and how you plan to communicate throughout your mentorship –Grace Weight
  3. Career progression plans helped me massively to keep track of my progress and allowed me to see exactly where I was headed in my career, which ultimately landed me my new role!  These can help anyone in any field of work stay motivated and career-driven. –Bea Everatt
  4. Regular 121’s with your mentor are key. This is a time to not only discuss your learning objectives and manage new work opportunities, but it also allows you to improve your internal communications, which is so important in any workplace. –Molly McCarthy
  5. Taking time out each week for Learning and Development time allows you to actively work on the areas of your role that need improving, as well as improving the parts you enjoy most, all of which help you to achieve your career goals. Your mentor can help with making plans and goals for your Learning and Development time and it allows them to best understand how you like to learn. –Joe Cafferty

We are huge advocates for mentoring and learning from others at WSA. Having a mixture of learning styles from 121 training to wider agency activities such as Learning Diaries helps to build knowledge, confidence and relationships. Picture yourself learning from us? Get in touch today.

Austin Walters
Austin Walters

Austin Walters is Operations Director at WSA The Communications Agency. He steers the agency’s digital offering and works with all departments and marketing disciplines. Austin writes about business modernisation, management, sales and digital marketing. A young son, a busy job and social life mean that leisure time can be hard to come by, but he spends it keeping active and can often be found running, hiking, surfing or bending into shapes.

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