Mentoring is a valuable tool that can support your return to training and can be particularly beneficial at career and personal transition points.
Mentoring describes a ‘learning relationship’ whereby a mentor provides a confidential and safe space to discuss opportunities, challenges and problems.
Currently, Thames Valley Trainees are bring offered the opportunity to access Mentoring via the Wessex HEE SuppoRTT team, and at Thames Valley we are in the process of setting up our own Mentorship scheme.
To find out more about mentoring please take a look at the information and links below. If you have any further questions or would like to sign up for mentoring, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is mentorship?
Mentorship is often defined as a process whereby:
‘An experienced……..empathic person (the mentor) guides another individual (the mentee) in the development and re-examination of their own ideas, learning, personal and professional development’.
Standing Committee on Postgraduate Medical & Dental Education 1996.
Mentors provide a unique opportunity to take time to focus solely on you and your development. Whilst mentors may share their own personal experience they will steer away from advice – giving and understand that you are the expert on what is right for you.
Your mentor will use a framework to guide your discussions and support you to find your own solutions. Mentoring relationships can be very varied and may last a long while and cover many different areas of discussion, or may be shorter and focused on a particular challenge.
Why mentorship for return to training?
Returning to training can be a very challenging time. The most commonly described challenges encountered by returning trainees are a loss of confidence and self-perception of capability associated with having a period of time away from work. The reason for taking time away from training may also bring further challenges, such as a change in personal circumstances and priorities, which may necessitate a change in the way in which you work.
What will a mentor offer?
All mentors have undertaken a 2 – day training course, which provides the skills and a framework, which the mentors will use to guide and facilitate your discussions. The way in which you will work with your mentor will depend on each individual relationship and will be discussed on the initial face to face meeting. We recommend that you should plan to meet with your mentor every 6-8, but this may vary depending on individual timescales.
During the mentoring process the mentor may support your development through:
– Acting as a sounding board
– Being a critical friend
– Providing dedicated time to think about your career
– Providing a safe and confidential time in which to reflect
– Working with you to clarify goals which really matter to you.
– Helping you to broaden your perspectives and recognise the resources available to you.
Is it for me?
The best way to work out if mentoring is for you is to try it out. Please contact us on the e-mail below to express your interest. You will be sent a list of profiles and may contact the mentor of your choice. Bear in mind that mentoring is often most powerful when your mentor is from a different background to yourself. Occasionally a mentor may be at full capacity and you may have to contact a different mentor.
We recognize that whilst some mentoring relationships work really well and others will not. This is not a ‘failure’ as such, but just a fact of life. If at any point you feel that the mentoring relationship is not productive then please get in touch and we will endeavour to find you an alternative mentor.