MT-Mentoring path: Building autonomy step by step, Career and Employment

Each mentoring path is singular, and this is part of its richness. Therefore, no structured mandatory activities will be suggested for the 9 sessions of mentoring. Instead we propose to give suggestions for LCP and mentee to consider and to implement, with the flexibility and adaptation that are needed.

For this meeting, the suggestion is for the LCP to focus on discussing:

Part A

  • Review of the previous sessions’ experiences – major positive elements, what needs change/improvement, emotional state of mind during and after the sessions
  • Help develop a doable action plan and support its implementation (regarding the topics addressed so far): give support on identification of objectives, signalization of initiatives/actions, definition of major steps to accomplish objectives, definition of monitoring strategies.
  • Provide constructive feedback
  • Identify strengths and achievements and explore options
  • Coach on specific areas of difficulty/needs if need
  • Create opportunities for mentees to gain experience

Part B

  • Career and employment

a. Wishes and goals for career path and employment

b. Support to

i. develop intrapersonal reinforcement strategies (please see Introduction of MIP for more details).

ii. identify major goals, challenges and opportunities related to the career path the mentee chooses to pursue

iii. build a plan and to operationalize the strategy chosen (e.g. include in the plan how to build a brief CV, prepare an elevator pitch[1]: “who am I?”)

iv. build and implement an efficient job seeking strategy

v. build and implement Monitoring strategy

            1. Brainstorm on potential risks, difficulties/barriers to accomplish the plan
            2. Identification of an action plan to overcome difficulties identified

A. Promote autonomy

a. Define, together, an automatization path

i.     Identify key areas

ii.     Identify key skills/knowledge to be developed

iii.     Ensure support for error, frustration and/or resistance to change

b. Allow for individual exploration

i.     If appropriate, encourage “out of the box” solutions

ii.     Give support when needed but do not substitute the mentee’s decision or take charge.

iii.     Do not present a “know it all” attitude

1.      Implementing a positive interaction and communication style

a.      The right not to tell

2.      Ensure you use adequate negotiation strategies

c. Support build intrapersonal reinforcement strategies 

B. Career and employment

  1. Pitch on mentee’s plans for career and employment – 5 minutes’ turbo pitch on “Why I wish to be …”

Justification: Previous to any exploration of the career and employment dimensions it is important to know what the mentee wishes for his/her career path/employment. One dynamic way to do it, which will also be relevant for the mentee to use when pursing employment opportunities, is to ask him/her to prepare a pitch on “Why do I wish to be…” (what he/she wishes to be). The LCP should help prepare this pitch and, additionally, to support mentee’s reflection on what he/she wishes to be and the main reasons why. Major difficulties/barriers/achievement mentioned during the accomplishment of this task need to be systematized in a sheet of paper because they are important for the following steps in the mentoring process.

2. “Going for it!” – Plan a strategy to find employment (integrated, if possible, in a career path)

Justification: For many ageing out children the most difficult component of employment/career is not, necessarily, the identification of the “job” they wish to have but to plan and implement an efficient strategy to actively pursue it. This activity is, in its essence, the development of the first stages of this strategy – to have an achievable action plan for job seeking (which, if possible, is integrated in a career strategy). To do it, mentee and LCP need to decide the template they wish to use (on scenario paper, on computer program – word, Power point, other…, directly in a A4 sheet, by post-it that will be glued together and after an organized document will be produced). With LCP’s support, mentee will identify major goals, challenges and opportunities related to the career path he/she chooses to pursue. A strategy with the operationalization of the actions chosen (e.g., build a brief CV, prepare a pitch) is, then, built. During the implementation of the strategy, the plan should be regularly monitored and updated.

3. “Intrapersonal reinforcement strategies”: Simulation of difficult, emotionally challenging and positive situations regarding employment/career related issues (role play in an interview context, how to behave during a staff meeting etc.).

Intrapersonal rewarding from the mentee to him/herself could be: “Very well! I am amazing”! or “I nailed it! I will reward myself with a movie with friends!”

Justification: This session is particularly challenging for the majority of the mentees. It is essential that the mentee develops strong intrapersonal reinforcement strategies to cope with all these challenges in an assertive way. To train these skills we propose that LCP and mentee practice, using simulation techniques, different situations, reactions and outcomes – the main goal is to reinforce acceptance, positive coping styles and the mentee strengths.