Mentoring

Many organisations offer mentoring schemes to new or all staff. At the Royal Meteorological Society, we recognise the wealth of expertise available across our membership and that people may benefit from mentoring from outside their organisation.

This may be because you need guidance on the next step in your career, you are thinking of moving organisations, considering changing careers from research to operational work, or just because you can’t find the right person within your own organisation to provide the necessary advice.

We can offer something unique to our members, providing mentoring pairings with meetings taking place either in person or virtually.

We are seeking volunteer mentors and mentees. If you are a student, early career scientist or professional, or a more experienced member who can offer insight and advice, please get in touch! 

The scheme is open throughout the year and we will hold your details in our database until we find the the right match. Once we have paired you up, we will be in touch to arrange a remote introductory meet up via Skype.

Mentoring topics

Specific issues where mentoring could be useful include providing advice or feedback and support to plan for:

  • Applying for a job, CV surgery
  • Equality and diversity
  • Fieldwork
  • Group or team development
  • Outreach, social media or media work
  • A second opinion or sounding board for ideas
  • Considering or fulfilling leadership and management roles
  • Working effectively in support or administrative roles
  • Gaining access to networks or contacts
  • Skills related mentoring (developing new skills, communication, working with others)
  • Support and advice in identifying and planning personal and professional development, or at key transition points
  • Work-life balance and family events (returning from secondments, maternity or parental leave, or career breaks)

Resources

Benefits of mentoring

Benefits for mentors

  • Enhances professional skills – mentoring can help provide the skills needed to have a competitive edge
  • Continuous Professional Development (CPD) – mentoring can be used as something that can support your CPD record
  • Support your profession - Pass professional standards, values, knowledge and experience from one generation to another
  • Give something back – help younger scientists at the start of their career and foster a greater sense of community amongst the meteorological community
  • Reverse mentoring – mentors can develop new skills, taught from their mentor, such as social media skills

Benefits for mentees

  • Gain knowledge – have access to someone who can provide an insight into your work and career
  • Overcome challenges - learn from those who have experience of how to develop solutions and overcome obstacles or problems
  • Successful job strategy – find out practical tips of planning a successful job search
  • Develop your skills – whether this is your ability to self-reflect, understand, learn new skills or improve your approach to problem-solving
  • Identify weaknesses – be self-aware and able to identify your weaknesses, to ensure you work towards solving and overcoming these
  • Improve self-confidence – improve your conversation skills in a professional setting
  • Networking – build an informal list of contacts through discovering names, companies, organisations and opportunities you may not know existed
  • Career support – gain valuable information and insight whether you’re transitioning between career stage, organisations or fields, as well as have someone look over your CV

Structure of the scheme

1. Matching mentors and mentees

One of the most important factors in the success of a mentoring programme is ensuring the mentee is matched with an appropriate mentor. The more information you can provide us with, regarding what you hope to achieve from being part of the mentoring scheme, the more useful this is to us. This will help focus our search to finding someone with the right industry knowledge and specific skills and experiences which are most relevant to you, and will ensure the correct pairing is made. 

2. Before the mentoring relationship begins

Both the mentor and mentee will agree the frequency of meetings. In order for the programme to be successful, it is important that the amount of contact and communication is understood by both sides. It is recommended that a log is kept of all meetings and major communications, as a way of ensuring the expected amount of contact is maintained. Both the mentor and mentee will agree the frequency of meetings. In order for the programme to be successful, it’s important that the amount of contact and communication is agreed on both sides. 

3. Getting to know your mentor/mentee

After the Society has matched a mentor and a mentee they will most likely be introduced to each other via email, and then via a Skype meet-up. Apart from the first introduction in which the mentor will take the first lead of contact, the mentee will lead other communications and should organise meetings. It is expected this is completed within one week of being introduced. 

4. Meetings and keeping in touch

At the first meeting, it would be useful to discuss expectations from both sides. We recommend that for the duration of the scheme you are in contact with each other at least once per month. Contact can be via email, telephone, Skype, or in person.

5. Evaluation

At the end of the scheme, both the mentor and mentee will be expected to complete an evaluation form. It is anticipated that most mentoring relationships will last for 6-12 months. If you wish to continue the relationship beyond this, that can be agreed between the parties involved.

Frequently asked questions

The mentoring schemes is only available to members of The Royal Meteorological Society.

There will be a mentoring co-ordinator who will match mentors and mentees. They will contact you regarding how the relationship is progressing, and for evaluation at the end of the scheme.

The mentoring coordinator should be the first point of reference should any questions or difficulties arise. Simply get in touch and the mentoring coordinator will be able to provide support.

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