If you were asked to describe what a mentor looks like, what would you say? The first image that likely comes to mind for many is someone who is well-established, confident, and influential in their field. Mentorship from industry veterans can be a key factor in a young woman’s success. But what about mentors who are just starting out in their careers, who are still building confidence, and who don’t have much influence in their field (yet)?
For a student searching for her first job, mentors who have just broken into the work world have a unique and useful perspective on how to navigate the job market. Here’s why:
1) They understand the importance of having an online presence.
Let’s face it – you can’t find a job in the traditional way anymore. No longer is applying to a job posting enough. Students and aspiring professionals must also attract potential employers and build their networks online. This means they must find creative ways to use social media channels and other digital tools to stand out.
While long-established professionals may see this trend, it is the women who are brand new to the professional world who have lived through it. They understand how to leverage their online presence and create a personal brand to land that first job.
2) They know that organizations don’t train employees like they used to.
Ask any aspiring professional about their biggest obstacle standing between them and their first job and they will likely say lack of experience. There seems to be a paradox that exists whereby an aspiring professional cannot get their first job experience until they have at least five years of previous experience. How is this supposed to work?
New professionals have broken through the ‘experience barrier’. As mentors, they will have the most up-to-date ideas about how to build relevant skills and experiences in creative ways, such as through volunteering or taking online courses.
3) They know there are no clear cut paths to dream jobs.
It’s becoming increasingly common for young professionals to be ‘careerpreneurs’; that is, they manage their careers like an entrepreneur. In a time when young professionals cannot always rely on job security, it’s important to have a range of skills and pursuits that can give you flexibility in your budding career. Mentors that are just starting out in their careers have experienced what it’s like to manage multiple pursuits while simultaneously going after that dream job.
If you’re a young professional who likes to help others, consider mentoring someone! Even though you may feel like you don’t have much experience, you have a perspective on the job market that could be extremely valuable to a student trying to get their first job. All female mentorship has value, regardless of career stage. Apply to be a mentor at GEM today!