Tomorrow is National Mentoring Day and we are looking forward to celebrating our Mentor Me scheme. As part of this we have been catching up with some of our mentors and we wanted to discover how they are finding the experience. Member, Jaroslav Chudej MIH shares his thoughts.
Why did you decide to get involved in Mentor Me?
Throughout my career as a hospitality professional, and later as a manager, I was fortunate enough to work with some extraordinary people of which a few were my mentors. I have learned that a good mentor can help to catapult someone’s career and make it a joy, whilst a bad boss can ruin the appetite for the industry very quickly, making a workplace a nightmare.
For me, the Mentor Me scheme is a great way to give back to the industry and help others the same way I was once supported. It also enhances my own skillset by learning from mentees about their challenges, giving me a new perspective and ultimately enhancing my existing knowledge.
What have you enjoyed most about being a mentor?
The feeling of being able to help and see how my support allows others to grow. Mentoring creates close relationships at the professional level, and it is a very fulfilling and rewarding experience.
Has it helped you to develop your own skills?
Yes, it absolutely has. Every session brings a new challenge that opens new avenues for exploration, professional development and learning, so the mentor is able to provide the best support. For me, it is a two-way road. The mentor helps the mentee find their ways around a problem while developing personal skills through learning about the same problem (and whether the mentor can relate to that situation from past experience) as well as developing mentoring skills along the way.
What would you say to someone considering getting involved?
If you are sure you can commit the time, it is definitely worth getting involved as the benefits of being a mentee, as well as a mentor, can’t be denied.
Mentor Me is a safe space for mentees to seek professional support outside of their workplace setting, so they don’t feel intimidated with colleagues discussing career development challenges.
It is a development tool for mentors as well. Because there is no relation between the mentees and mentors place of work (they are not working for each other as an employer and employee) the relationship is different than when a senior manager is mentoring their own talented staff. The Mentor Me program takes this all away which gives unbiased perspective to both the mentor and the mentee.