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Mentorship can take many forms — speed mentoring, coaching and championing, among them — and each has its benefits. But if you’re looking for a mentor and have at least eight years of professional experience, consider applying to WISE Within to help build the relationship. Not sure a formal program is right for you? Here’s what you’ll need to think about before hitting the send button on your application.
What's the Goal?
The primary purpose of WISE Within is professional development — setting career goals and working toward them. The program is not a one-stop shop for finding that next job, though mentors may help facilitate introductions and make recommendations that lead to job opportunities.
How Does WISE Within Work?
WISE Within is a six-month program. Mentees will meet one-on-one with their mentors at least once a month, either in person or by phone, and attend three mandatory group sessions, which will provide an opportunity for participants to share their experiences and expand their professional networks by building relationships with other program mentors and mentees. There is also supplemental online content with supporting resources available to participants throughout the program.
Is WISE Within Right for Me?
Here are four questions to help you decide:
- Do you have the time? Monthly and group meetings are only part of the commitment. Mentors will offer guidance, support and feedback, but it’s the mentee’s responsibility to lead the relationship. That means setting clear objectives, confirming scheduled meetings, driving the agenda, following through on feedback and recommendations provided by the mentor, and doing some self-reflection.
- Are you looking to take the next step in your career? Whatever that means to you, WISE Within can help support that advancement. For example, if you’re looking for ways to grow your career or for support as you navigate complicated workplace situations, this program can provide practical steps.
- Are you prepared to accept constructive criticism? There’s always room for growth (otherwise, you wouldn’t be searching for a mentor in the first place), and mentors’ jobs may involve challenging you to see things from different perspectives and encouraging you to get out of your comfort zone.
- Do you finish what you start? Seeing things through and doing what you say you’ll do are important to building trust in the mentor-mentee relationship.
This post was contributed by Christie Lenox, a member of the WISE Within National Committee and a former WISE Within mentee. Read more about the program and stories from program alumni here.