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Virtual Mentoring Programs A Major Need

Virtual mentoring programs can fill the major gaps in the current job market

As more people work from home due to the pandemic, the need for mentor-led, career-focused partnerships is growing amongst job-seekers and career-changers.

The current transition to working remotely work has significantly impacted career growth and development prospects for many in India. From leaders to job seekers, there is a pressing need to rethink how growth and development are perceived, reveals a mentorship survey from Springboard, an online platform for workforce upskilling.

Virtual mentoring programs can fill the major gaps in the current job market and help people across the world achieve their career goals, believe experts.

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The Survey covered 500+ professionals from various professions across metro cities in India, their experience level ranging from entry (44 percent) to the director (2.1 percent) level.

The pandemic has pre-empted heightened needs for people to seek mentoring while learning. While 69.4 percent of respondents feel that re-skilling is closely linked to career growth, 79 percent are willing to take up a re-skilling program that gives them 1:1 access to the mentors.

Valuable mentoring takes effort and establishing effective mentoring relationships requires certain skills and structure from both the mentor and the one being mentored. When both sides take responsibility and commitment to make it work -that’s when success strikes.

The preliminary results of the survey revealed that not every professional could distinguish between teaching and mentoring. Mentoring and teaching are equally important but when it comes to professional learning and development, the process is what matters. So, should they go for a teacher, a mentor, or both?

As per the survey, 62.7 percent of professionals prefer to take an upskilling program that gives them access to a mentor. The survey reveals that a whopping 87.9 percent respondents think access to a seasoned mentor can profoundly boost their career success and trajectory while 79.4 percent feel that one of the best ways to transition to a position in a new industry is with the help of a mentor.

Mentoring and teaching are equally important but when it comes to professional learning and development, the process is what matters. Flickr

Having access to an experienced mentor helps professionals identify and bridge their skill gaps and expedite knowledge acquisition to achieve their career goals. On being asked about challenges in one’s career growth, 41.9 percent of professionals chose ‘the need of a mentor to guide them’. The survey also revealed that 46.4 percent of respondents were unable to find a mentor that suited their needs.

“The survey has brought to the fore many points. Firstly, intentional mentorship programs have a definite impact on filling the opportunity gap that keeps people from advancing within organizations or while changing jobs. Secondly, there is a great potential in every professional looking to upskill � they just need to be directed and guided in the right manner. Our survey has shown us that, while content and certification are just the tip of the iceberg and can help a professional grow only to a certain extent whereas effective mentoring can do wonders by applying that knowledge at the right place, in the right manner,” said Vivek Kumar, Managing Director, Springboard India.

To succeed, good mentoring is of utmost importance, it is also one of the strongest areas which people misunderstand as teaching. A mentor is someone you can look up to at any point in your life in terms of professional and personal support. They can facilitate your success in your career and beyond.’

Also Read: Black Lives Matter: A Reminder That the World Needs

Kumar believes, “The concept of mentoring has always been in existence, however people’s understanding of mentorship is still unclear. Most professionals do not see expected growth in their career as they miss out on one crucial aspect in their skilling journey which is mentorship and learning from the experiences and real-world learnings of their mentors. It’s also a fact that dedicated mentors who will support one throughout the career path are hard to identify.”

The survey broadly underscores the missing link between the professionals and their career goals and lays emphasis on mentorship being a significant part of success throughout their career.

Speaking about the survey, Dipanjan Sarkar, SME, and data science lead at Springboard said “… The survey highlights a significant problem associated with career advancement; a staggering 41.9 percent of respondents have stressed ‘inaccessibility to a professional mentor’ as an overriding reason that has kept them from achieving their desired career growth. Mentors can profoundly boost a mentee’s career path, by offering them a wealth of knowledge, experience, and guidance that can help them navigate through challenging times, such as this. In the IT industry, the talent demand for remote jobs will continue to grow and new trends will create new opportunities. As experienced mentors, we see a clear indication that online learning complemented with a 1:1 mentorship program can help mentees meet their career goals. Careers in emerging technologies (DS, AI/ML, DA, UI/UX) are here to stay, and having a mentor who is already an expert in the field can equip mentees to remain on top of their game.” (IANS)

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