I’m so busy, will this be worth my time?
If you’re serious about reaching the top in your career then it will be invaluable. You’ll be linked up with a woman who has already made it to a senior leadership position in PR, who will support you work on the areas that you feel you need to develop (see our checklist of core competencies). She will encourage, challenge, and support you and pass on what she’s learnt along the way. This could turn out to be your best ever moment of networking. At a minimum you’ll meet four times over the year, but many of your mentors are happy for more contact.
I’m convinced. But how do I know I’ll get on with my mentor?
You’ll be telling us all about yourself in the application, and we’ll use this information to match you up with a mentor who fits with you in terms of character, experience and what you tell us you want to gain from the mentoring. For example, if you’re finding it tough to combine being a mum to three small children with your associate director role managing a team, we’ll match you up with a woman who has (and continues to) perform that juggle herself. The more you tell us about yourself, the better match we’ll be able to make.
The first meeting will be a chance for both of you to get to know each other a little better and mutually decide if this is something you want to pursue.
Will I be able to email my mentor between meetings to ask for advice?
The style, location and frequency of meetings will be something you’ll agree with your mentor in your first meeting. You can also agree the extent of contact between meetings, and whether your mentor prefers to be contacted by phone or email. PRWeek will also be giving all 30 mentors and mentees guidance on best mentoring practice.
I could really do with some help with getting the best from my team, some of whom are frankly a nightmare to manage. But how can I talk about that to my mentor without identifying them to her?
We’re asking mentors and mentees to keep their discussions confidential, in order to protect the interest of both parties. As a general rule, you should try not to mention names or numbers of your discussions. However, in this case it might be possible that your mentor could work out who you are referring to, but remember they have also agreed to keep confidential anything they learn from you.
OK, how do I apply?
First check you qualify. You need to be female (sorry guys, but it looks like you’re getting into those top jobs without our help!).
For agency people we’re asking for four years’ experience of managing at least five people (four years at a senior level for in-house women). Click here for the application form. You’ll also need to email us a reference from your manager. The deadline for entries and references is January 8.
I’m keen to get more involved, anything else I can take part in?
We’ll be publishing blogs from mentees at prweek.com/mentoring – just indicate your interest on the application form.
I have a question not covered here.