You’re in a new country and new environment; it’s a very different work culture, with different professional requirements. It’s an overwhelming situation. Wouldn’t it be helpful to have someone to talk to who would be sensitive to your work requirements? Wouldn’t it be great if they knew where you are coming from, what qualities you have to offer and what challenges you face?
Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction. ~ John C. Crosby
Establishing a mentoring relationship with a local professional is a great solution to help you overcome some of the barriers you will face during your job search. A mentor is a guide; they can help you find direction and develop solutions. Connecting with a mentor can provide you with information and connections that you may not discover on your own.
- Connect with someone in your profession. You will overcome the crisis of “lack of relevant information.” A mentor will be able to provide you with key information related to your profession, like certification and licensing requirements, or relevant journals and publications you should read.
- Broaden your network. Having limited connections can create anxiety – your mentor can introduce you to their professional circles and groups. Accompanying your mentor to networking events will help you overcome the initial nervousness you may be feeling!
- Discuss your job search strategies. Do NOT ask your mentor to find you a job. Asking your mentor for a job may break down the trust that has been built – they are there to guide you. You can make a positive impression by adhering to time frames, asking meaningful and relevant questions, and discussing professional jargon.
- Practice your interview skills. Most mentors are in a position to conduct interviews or arrange one with their Human Resources personnel. Preparing for in-person interviews and phone interviews can greatly increase your chance of success. A practice interview will help you learn what types of questions may be asked, so you can practice your responses. You will learn what employers expect and how to present yourself confidently and professionally.
- Be honest and always say what you mean. Pay attention, seek feedback and discuss your progress with your mentor. Your mentor can be an invaluable resource if you are open to learning and conversation. Remember, it is a partnership and you will get as much out of it as you put into it – so give it your best!