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need a mentor?, need to move on?, need something new - I don't know..

 
#1 need a mentor?, need to move on?, need something new - I don't know..
26/03/2008 14:03

Anon

This is a bit of a wander, but I'd appreciate any help or knowledge of people in the same position.

I've worked in consulting for a number of years in and around London, largely technology focused, whether it be tech strategy, generating business from tech, cutting edge design or requirements and specification writing.

My issue is that I'm 32 and don't see myself staying here. The people are ok - both internal and client, the pay is ok and the work generally ok, there issues of course but nothing too bad. I'm good at my job and get good praise for it, it can be hard work but that's not an issue.

I think I'm bored, maybe I'm ready for a new challenge - but have been sticking it out as life is generally what you make of it - but none of my plans have truly come to fruition.

My company offers a mentoring scheme but it is generally people looking for a tick in the box and I'd prefer a mentor from outside the company, I've spent time looking but most are 'official mentors' and charge £100+ per hour - paying a mentor doesn't seem to fit what I want from a trusted 'friend'. So not sure what to do there.

Starting a business might be an option. But not

in consulting - as its the work I want to change - I think.

Some of my friends run businesses, some in agriculture - work outside, meet real people and earn a very decent wage from it (surprisingly); another runs a web business and is basically retired having started early and had, in his words some very lucky breaks, another is a 'ski instructor' and earns enough in tips to equal my wage. I don't resent them their lives - that's not the issue.

I guess I'm trying to find a way to make my mark, start my break. I've tried conferences and meeting others outside teh company - but the biggest conferences charge too much for me too attend.

Does anyone have any suggestions, on how to move forward?

Thanks for sticking with it...

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#2 RE: need a mentor?, need to move on?, need something new - I don't know..
26/03/2008 14:38

Mars A Day to Anon (#1)

If you are not looking for a tick in the box great, but probably your first point of call is internally - use the formal mentoring process to identify someone you can spark off; if you take the attitude that you really do want something from it, chances are your mentor will relish the opportunity to work with someone who wants to do more than play office politics or kiss ar*e. An external mentor is unlikely to be of much help until you know what areas need development and only someone internally will be able to tell you what that is in a short space of time.

But is sounds like you need someone to help give you some inspiration and guidance more broadly than just professionally, and perhaps help you to understand what it is that makes you tick etc. I have a suggestion - one I know worked for me and know it has worked for others - but you might think I am being a little eccentric because it involves no Alan Sugars, no podcasting or video conferencing, and no mumbo jumbo. You want my suggestion?

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#3 RE: need a mentor?, need to move on?, need something new - I don't know..
26/03/2008 14:49

Anon to Mars A Day (#2)

Hi Mars

Thanks for posting, I thought an external might focus on areas outside of my company - but, you make a good point about external mentors. I am looking for the right person internally currently - and have identified people whom I've clicked with - it may be a time and location issue. but I will keep at it.

I'm not after a quick fix, just a direction and light to head towards, so any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks

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#4 RE: need a mentor?, need to move on?, need something new - I don't know..
26/03/2008 15:20

Mars A Day to Anon (#3)

It might seem a little odd but have you tried taking a weekend out and getting down to brass tacks? I myself have found the odd stay in a monastery for a weekend, with a chance to talk to some monks, has helped me to refocus in the past, and other who have found a weekend hiking or rock climbing to be immensely useful in clearing the head. Waking up at 5am in complete silence and going for a walk to ask myself what was really important to, how would I feel if everything crashed tomorrow etc really helped. Sometimes you don't need an external mentor just a window to be really straight with yourself and to get to know your own mind.

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#5 RE:need a mentor?, need to move on?, need something new - I don't know..
26/03/2008 16:34

Anon to Mars A Day (#4)

Hi Mars

Thanks for posting again. I quite often climb or hike on teh weekends - when time and money allows. You're right of course in that it clears the mind and allows for clarity of thought, but I can't seem to put my finger on that special something, my direction etc, which is why i thought a mentor might help - but we've covered that.

I'm not sure a new job would help, as I don't know what that new job should be... I have a peer group of course but no-one who has the experience to advise... not sure where this should go...

Hope someone can offer some advice

Thanks

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#6 RE:need a mentor?, need to move on?, need something new - I don't know..
26/03/2008 16:53

anonetta to Anon (#5)

I would just like to say that I think Mars’ monastery idea seems quite a good one IMO. Enforced and structured reflection is significantly different to renting a cottage somewhere on your own.

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#7 RE:need a mentor?, need to move on?, need something new - I don't know..
26/03/2008 17:03

Anon to Anon (#5)

Try a monastery - there are loads around in the UK so should be one near you (if you let me know which part of the country I could even suggest your nearest one); take it from me having the opportunity to reflect with the guidance of someone usually VERY experienced in bringing the best out in people is both enlightening and will give you exactly the starting point you need to then work with a mentor in the business world to get your mojo back.

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#8 RE:need a mentor?, need to move on?, need something new - I don't know..
26/03/2008 19:23

Anon to Anon (#7)

Thanks for every ones posts - not sure about the monastery thing, I think I may need to concentrate on the work/career thing for a while.

I wondering if anyone has tried a proffessional mentor and if their worth the money?

CAn any one suggest a list of conferences that I could attend and start networking more?

thanks in advance

Anon

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#9 RE:need a mentor?, need to move on?, need something new - I don't know..
26/03/2008 21:45

Paneer to Anon (#8)

Anon

It might be worth having a look at Thread 41840 - re careers coaches.

Mars' suggestion is fantastic - left field but great.

Forgive me for asking but what do you mean by the term "mentor"? To me, this is someone who can give you practical expertise / advice in a specialist area - e.g. a senior work colleague knowing how to do the job you're doing or deal with the office politics etc.

I think you are talking about an executive coach - someone who will listen to you very attentively, assess your attitudes and beliefs and reflect these back to you in a challenging and supportive way.

Having had several coaches, I can attest to how powerful the process can be - including Phil Reed, mentioned in the other thread.

Re conferences - what conferences are you interested in, given that you don't know what job area you want to move into. Do you mean a careers' conference?

Does your co offer 360-degree feedback / coaching or could you get an internal mentor to help you with this? If well managed, this can give useful information about you as an individual.

You seem to have some area in mind - is that so?

P

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#10 RE:need a mentor?, need to move on?, need something new - I don't know..
27/03/2008 08:52

Anon to Paneer (#9)

Hi Paneer

many thanks for the post - you may be right in that an executive coach may be more what I am trying to find - but someone who also has the experience and knowledge of doing teh job to help bring you on.

I guess, once I've found an area to work in, I would really like to be someone's deputy for a while learning from, taking on real jobs from them and proving myself by doing, eventually taking on their job. Which is why I've never really believed in paying someone for this type of thing - I see it as a mutual 'friendship' not a one hour a week deal. Am I just looking for something that only exists in books?

thanks for posting and any advice...

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#11 RE:need a mentor?, need to move on?, need something new - I don't know..
27/03/2008 09:53

Dorothy Wilson to Anon (#10)

If it is any consolation you are far from alone in the feelings you have. As someone who has worked with people in career change/transition situations for over 15 years I have dealt with a good many people who have hit the same point that you are at now.

In fact, it seems to strike someone between the ages of 26 and 34, which ties in with your age.

There is no easy - or instant - way through it but an evoluntionary process that works through a development cycle and takes in self-awareness, market research and change management.

As I'm new to this site I'm not sure whether it is ethical to post my contact details. However, I would be pleased to have a chat with you either by e-mail or telephone if it is possible to make personal contact.

Dorothy Wilson

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#12 RE:need a mentor?, need to move on?, need something new - I don't know..
27/03/2008 10:52

Anon to Dorothy Wilson (#11)

Hi Dorothy

Thanks for posting, I can't say that its good to know others are going through the same situation as myself - but its enlightening.

IT would be good to understand the process of how someone like yourself helps people. My issue would be that safe chats are never realised in the real world and learned techniques or internal reflections aren't straight forward when put into real life situations. I would to discuss in more details - do you have a website or email you are willing to post that I can use?

If there is anyone else who has been through this can offer experience it would be appreciated.

Many thanks

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#13 RE:need a mentor?, need to move on?, need something new - I don't know..
28/03/2008 04:05

in the same boat to Anon (#12)

HI Dorothy,

Please send your email address and URL. I need a mentor similar to the other writers here. Please email to afroboy012@yahoo.com.au

Thanks

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#14 RE:need a mentor?, need to move on?, need something new - I don't know..
30/03/2008 10:18

Dorothy Wilson to in the same boat (#13)

Hello There

My website is www.careerarena.co.uk. I'm in the process of updating that. The e-mail is info@careerarena.co.uk

I wasn't sure about the ethics of promoting myself on this site!

Regards

Dorothy Wilson

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#15 RE:need a mentor?, need to move on?, need something new - I don't know..
30/03/2008 12:38

Mars A Day to Dorothy Wilson (#14)

Another suggestion is to go to London is some scruffy old clothes and sit with the tramps, while drinking special brew. A couple of days sleeping in your own vomit gives you a fresh perspective on life.

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#16 RE:need a mentor?, need to move on?, need something new - I don't know..
31/03/2008 09:00

Anon to Mars A Day (#15)

Hi Mars, thanks for posting, its an interesting idea to get drunk and I guess your wider point is to stop complaining and be grateful for what you have. This is very true, I'm just trying to move on change the things I'm not happy with in my life.

Dorothy - thanks for you contacts, I will certainly look at your website anc consider getting in touch. As for the ethics of this site, I can't comment, but many people leave their details here.

Thanks for posting - any additional advice is gratefuly accepted.

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#17 RE:need a mentor?, need to move on?, need something new - I don't know..
31/03/2008 09:04

(The Real) Mars A Day to Anon (#16)

I obviously did not make the suggestion about the tramps. I really wish people would not pretend to be other posters on this forum, whether or not for comic effect - it simply confuses the issue.

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