Career Development Advice - A Practical Exercise

This exercise could be used to discuss with your mentee their longer-term career goals and plan how they may achieve those goals. It works best as a face to face exercise, but could be managed remotely. 

Prior to meeting your mentee ask them to consider answering the question ‘what do they want to be’.  This exercise isn’t about what their next promotion is, but involves a longer-term view of the career goal that someone aims to achieve.  It can be completely open so long as it’s within the realms of reality.  As an example, ‘a CEO’ is realistic, ‘a princess married to Prince Harry’, maybe less so. Finally, it can be totally unrelated to the mentee’s current role, ‘to own a wedding cake business’ or ‘to buy, do up and rent out properties’ or even ‘to have earned enough money to retire and live in Thailand by the time I’m 45’ could all be the answers! 

Additionally, ask the mentee to spend time thinking about the positive attributes or successes they’ve achieved recently, as well as some of the difficulties and challenges they’ve faced. 

When you conduct the session ask them the question again and get them to explain what they want to be. The discussion should help explain why they want this, where the desire came from and what it really means.   

Once you both have this clear and defined you can get the exercise going! Ask your mentee to write out all the successful attributes they have and successes they’ve achieved that are helping them to eventually achieve the ‘thing they want to be’. Repeat the exercise but for the challenges. Then take some time to discuss these challenges, aiming to end up with a list of goals or solutions to overcome each challenge. 

The idea behind this exercise is to encourage your mentee to think beyond their next career step and how short-term motivations can feed into longer term plans.   

The MenteeMe Team