Published: 12 September 2018

It’s good to talk: our mentoring scheme is open for applications

Having a mentor provides an invaluable reflective space to talk through an objective and learn about different approaches and professional experiences with an experienced professional in your field.

The CharityComms Peer Support Scheme is now open again for applications. The scheme sets up mentoring relationships and one-off meetings between members in our network. Applicants apply with a clear objective usually rooted in a comms challenge or new job role and we then review our extensive network of contacts to find an appropriate match with someone we think will be able to help.

A lot of the time you have your own answers, you just need to be in the right space to talk them through with someone neutral who is willing to listen, reflect and share their own experience. Gaining a fresh perspective can be vital to helping you progress. Here are some ways you can make the most of your mentoring experience with us.

Having a clear objective is key

We can help with two different types of objectives:

The first is help with a specific comms challenge. For example, how to deal with a re-brand/ how to write a comms strategy/getting to grips with social media/ advice on a PR project etc.

I applied for a mentor to talk to as I worked through the process of putting a digital vision and roadmap in place for my charity. I was matched with Neil, head of digital at Independent Age. It's been really reassuring to have someone more experienced to soundboard my thoughts and ideas with from start to finish. Each mentoring session helped to reignite and reinspire my passion for developing and completing my digital strategy.

Samantha Doe
digital manager,
Action Against Hunger

The second is aiding a job transition. If you’ve recently moved into a new, more senior role and you’d like someone neutral to talk to while you find your feet – perhaps someone who has experienced a similar transition.

When I took on a new senior role as director of media in a large charity, I applied for a mentor to help me with this transition. CharityComms matched me with a very experienced communications leader in the sector. Our meetings every month were invaluable, as they allowed me to work through some of the challenges of starting a new role and think about what kind of leader I wanted to be. Having this ‘time out’ from the pressures of the busy day-to-day parts of my job and to talk to someone with a lot of experience and a neutral perspective helped me to settle into my role with confidence.

Pasca Lane
director of media,
British Red Cross

Sometimes a one-off chat over coffee is all you need

It can be a good opportunity to get a quick fix of inspiration and have some questions answered about a particular job role or comms query. Or maybe you’d like to brainstorm one aspect of a comms project? No matter what you need, we can help you find the right match. 

I was looking for advice on getting into a more senior creative role within a large charity. I was matched with Helen, creative director at Shelter. When we met we went over my employment history and clarified my career goals. Helen spoke to me about her own career journey and we brainstormed things I can do in my day-to-day current job to help me reach my ultimate goal. The meeting with Helen allowed me to realise I've been a senior creative for a number of years but that I have to believe I'm one too and speak about my skills and experience with confidence in order to progress.

Marcel Reinard
video producer,
Cystic Fibrosis Trust

How does it work?

The scheme is a personal matching service we run exclusively for our organisational members. For the nitty gritty on how it works and who can apply, check out our Peer Support Scheme page.

Being a mentor can be hugely rewarding – help advance your career and someone else’s

Have you got comms experience to share? We’re also recruiting mentors. You don’t need years of experience to be a mentor for us. People from different sized charities and a variety of job levels apply for mentors through our scheme, from comms assistants to associate directors of communications.

Just some of the benefits of being a mentor:

  • Share your knowledge and experience and help others progress in their career
  • Develop your coaching and managerial skills
  • Get insight into the working world at different organisations
  • Be introduced to new ideas and ways of doing things
  • Engage with someone in a different job role from your own.

Read more about being a mentor on our scheme.

So whether you’re trying to work through a particular problem or you’re looking to give back through sharing your experience, our mentoring scheme has something for everyone. Find out more and sign-up today!

Image : Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Read more

Mentor/Mentee – who says you can’t be both?

Lally Wentworth, mentoring manager, CharityComms

Lally joined CharityComms in December 2008 to develop and manage the CharityComms membership scheme. She now runs our peer support scheme, including matching communications professionals working in the charity sector in mentoring relationships as part of their professional development.