There are numerous non-monetary benefits to becoming a mentor. Not only can you enhance your own career prospects, you too will develop new skills while helping others succeed. For these and many other reasons, mentors often want to give back and offer their services for free.
This is great if you’re mentoring alongside a paying career. However, many mentors want to dedicate their lives to helping others. In this instance, mentoring becomes their career.
As the benefits of mentoring in both personal and professional realms are increasingly realised, the market becomes more competitive. And with no specific qualifications or accreditation required to mentor in the UK, anyone can turn their hand to it.
This may sound like it would be pointless to pursue it as a paying career. With so many offering their services pro-bono, you’d be crazy to think you could earn a decent living from it.
The truth is quite the opposite. On average, professional mentors in the UK earn £42,500 a year. With many jobs advertised with higher than average pay.
There are several reasons for this. But namely, it’s because it can be hard to get good mentors for free. The quality of the mentoring provided by non-paid mentors can be lacking from what you could otherwise receive. Paid, well-established mentors are more likely to take the relationship seriously since it’s their livelihood.
Quality mentorship provides such valuable advice and connections that mentees are more than happy to pay for the experience. Find out how you can distinguish yourself from the rest and secure a paid, professional position as a mentor.
Consider what type of mentor you want to be
First, you need to think about what type of mentor you aim to be. The number of mentors helping people in business and their personal lives is growing considerably. So, it helps to take a bit of time to identify any gaps in the market and determine your specific skillset.
This can help you envisage how you’ll position yourself and offer your services. If you plan to mentor within your current workplace, you can plan and pitch yourself to management. Should you be aiming to go self-employed, you can consider your selling points and how you’ll market them. You could also look to work within an established mentoring firm, in which case you can research the roles required.
Many aspiring mentors who are looking to provide business-related services start out in their current workplace. This allows you to gain experience and build a reputation while still receiving a wage. You may end up moving into a paid mentoring position this way. If not, you can transition into an external position once you’ve gained the confidence you need.
Aside from being experienced in the area you plan to mentor, many employers will be looking for prior mentoring experience. This is often hard to get when you’re starting out. Unless you’re lucky enough to add it to the list of duties in your current role.
However, there are a few ways you can gain the experience you need. You could approach a voluntary sector scheme and do some unpaid work to practice and hone your skills. Or you could offer your services to colleagues and acquaintances temporarily for free.
You could do so in return for feedback and referrals, which can help you develop and prove your efficacy. Be warned that practising on friends and relatives isn’t advised. This is because it can be hard to set and enforce boundaries and remain objective.
While there is no regulatory body for mentoring in the UK, that’s not to say training isn’t worthwhile. There are many courses and qualifications that equip you with the essential knowledge and framework for effective mentorship.
You may not need training but taking a course will evidence your ability and demonstrate competence in core mentoring skills. Helping employers see that you know how to apply these safely and effectively within the context of your field.
There are lots of courses you can take that will help you gain important skills. From introductory short courses to advanced programmes and degrees. You need to assess the options available to you and decide which will be the best at delivering your goal.
Most training programmes will fall into one of three levels; Foundation, Intermediate or Advanced.
These courses are aimed at people with no prior knowledge or training. They cover the core skills and context of mentoring and teach you the essential frameworks and processes. Generally, these will provide you with a certificate of completion.
Courses at the intermediate level will build on these core skills. They may focus on specialist areas or models and have frameworks and approaches that align with particular types of mentoring. They’re useful for anyone with the core skills of mentoring who is looking to advance in certain areas. These can be offered at both certificate and diploma level.
These are generally bachelors or advanced degree level. Learners going down this avenue are generally looking to gain a master’s or professional doctorate qualification to position themselves as a specialist. This could be in areas like psychology, business modelling or entrepreneurship for example.
These are useful especially when coupled with specific mentoring qualifications to bring together knowledge, skills and practices from several disciplines.
Work on your credibility
Along with gaining experience, you need to work on your credibility as a mentor in order to gain paying clients.
You can make a good living as a mentor if you’re competent and have a good reputation. To make this work as a paying career you’ll need to put time, effort and dedication into marketing yourself. Just like any other start-up business.
You’ll need to work on gaining references and developing case studies. So other like-minded individuals have evidence of how your services can benefit them. Building your reputation through networking and word-of-mouth referrals, as well as active marketing and advertising.
Get started today
Working as a mentor is both challenging and rewarding. You can make a real difference in the lives of others and help them achieve their goals.
Take the first step towards this fulfilling career today by enrolling in an online mentoring course. The ILM Level 3 Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring (Mentoring Pathway) will give you what you need to get started.
You’ll learn how to develop yourself and others, effective mentor skills and methods to improve performance in the workplace.
Studied online, you can complete this course from home in a matter of months. Allowing you to be on the way to a paid mentoring position sooner than you might have thought.
learndirect is one of the UK’s leading online course providers. Offering a broad range of courses to help you achieve your personal or professional goals.
Move towards a paid mentoring career by enrolling on our online course today.