Now is the time to revisit your mentee's long-term career aspiration. With the end goal in mind, you can help your mentee map backwards and think through the steps that they need to take to get from their current program or place of employment to their long-term goal. To start the conversation, send your mentee a quick text asking them about one personal goal and one program/job related goal that they would like to complete in the next three months. Be sure to include your own personal and professional goals in the text. This is a great way to jumpstart the conversation before getting into specifics. It also gives your mentee a glimpse into what is important to you at your place of work and in your personal life.
For mentees who have completed job training and are currently working, talk to them about their long-term career goal. What can they do to improve their current job performance? Do they hope to be promoted or considered for a different job with more responsibility and better compensation? How will their current job prepare them and put them on a path to their long-term goal? What additional skills and experiences do they need to develop in order to reach their ultimate career goal? What steps can they take now to acquire those skills and experiences?
For mentees who are completing their credentialing or certificate program, what program requirements need to be met? Revisit your mentee's long-term career aspiration with them. This will help determine what your mentee's next steps are. It is possible that your mentee will enter the workforce immediately after completing their program, or perhaps pursue an Associate's Degree and ultimately a Bachelor's degree. In addition to formal education, help your mentee think through what other types of skills and experiences may be helpful in getting to their ultimate career goal.
Regardless of pathway or long-term career aspiration the S.M.A.R. T. goal structure is a great one to suggest to your mentee. Your mentee was first introduced to this concept in high school and it is used in many different professions. The best part is that the structure lends itself to task completion which helps your mentee build a sense of accomplishment as they work toward a larger goal.
Prompts for Communication:
While S.M.A.R.T goals provide excellent goal-setting structure, avoid beginning the conversation with them. Otherwise, the interaction may seem a bit transactional. Start with a personal check-in instead. Here are some questions that you might ask your mentee, and give personal examples from your life as well. Another option is asking your mentee to take the lead on the conversation and ask you questions about how things are going in your life
- How is everything going? How is your family?
- What things at home or in your program,family or job have changed since we last spoke? What areas do you need support with? How can I help?
- What is something that you are doing outside of work and home that you are enjoying?
Here are some work/program-related questions that you might ask:
- How is your program/job going? What areas are you doing well in? In what areas do you need support?
- How are you connecting with other people in your program/on the job?
- Does your program/job still feel like a good fit?
- What are some things that you are learning? How are you growing from this experience?
Here are some ways to begin the conversation around S.M.A.R.T goals:
- Model a S.M.A.R.T. goal for your mentee based upon something you want to accomplish professionally or personally over the next 3 months.
- Help your mentee set their S.M.A.R.T. goals by providing them with additional context. Making goals for your professional and personal life is important to ensure that you are doing things you want and progressing in life. What goals do you want to set for yourself related to your long-term career aspiration?
- SMART GOALS sheet: https://imentor.box.com/s/t072vibraw319w53q9uyo4n1m1inei31