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#CareerRefresh: Get a Mentor

13 January 2015

By Gloria Smith of the National Careers Service and Prospects Colleague.

I was at a conference recently listening to a nervous young man tell his story to an audience of 80 plus. The hearts and minds of the audience were with him.


The young man, an arts graduate, clutched his iPad on which he had written his story. At his side was his National Careers Service Adviser offering him encouragement with her eyes and her body language. He had met his Adviser at a community venue where she provides the service.

As he told his story, he explained that he had always struggled with confidence and although he has a degree, a, job had eluded him for some years. Tears started flowing when he said he was due to start a job using his artistic skills just as he wanted.

The person he thanked for his turn of fortune was his Adviser, who had come into his life when he was at his lowest. She listened to him; didn’t judge him and believed in him. She also kept her word by meeting up with him when she said she would. She had got to know him. She helped him to fill up the blank pages of a CV with what he had done but - to his amazement - in a more positive, interesting and individual way. His inspirational Adviser who mentored him explained that she had only done her job.

Mentors are unsung heroes who polish tarnished stars until they shine. He shone that day. His Adviser beamed.

National Careers Service Advisers provide high quality on-going careers advice to progress customers towards their work and learning goals through follow up and mentoring support. Advisers provide a service at Jobcentres, community venues such as libraries and they provide the service in prisons. They also often attend large and small events and specialist skills and employment events.

Want to talk to a National Careers Service Adviser? There are many ways to do so:
Ring 0800 100 900 - you can talk to someone straight away or be put through to a local helpline where you can receive telephone advice or arrange a face to face appointment in your local area. The National Careers Service is also on Facebook, twitter and Youtube. If you are 13-18 you can also use web chat. Alternatively venues where Advisers can be contacted are listed on the National Careers Service website https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/Pages/Home.aspx.

Prospects is the prime contractor for the National Careers Service in three areas: London, the South West and the West Midlands. We also provide the service in South Yorkshire, as part of the Careers Yorkshire and the Humber Consortium.

#CareerRefresh is a series of articles to help you give your career a kick start for 2015. Each day we will be looking a top tip from careers professional to help you find a career that suits you or grow in the career you have. Find all the tips by following #CareerRefresh on social media and share your own too.

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