3.3 Growing your Professional Network as a Mentor
The target group of NEETs usually has to struggle with a multitude of problematic situations. This insurmountable rock is made up of many issues/challenges and makes overcoming them seem impossible at first sight (see Eurofond 2016). As a mentor, all these issues can be identified and pointed out, but working on them is often not within the mentor’s area of competence. For this, it is important to know institutions and contact points in order to be able to refer the mentee correctly. Especially in the regional context, this knowledge is required in order to be able to professionally pass on topics that cannot be dealt with during the coaching process.
Examples of this are debt counselling, addiction counselling, psychotherapists, but also doctors and authorities. An essential aspect for successful implementation is the sustainable provision of services. For example, in most cases it is not enough to pass on contact details to the mentee. Joint appointments, reminders and reflection on the meetings can contribute to sustainable implementation and should be implemented into the mentoring.
In order to know the regional network of counselling and guidance services, networking must be part of the mentor’s mandate. It makes sense to attend network meetings and get to know the contents of different services in order to be constantly up-to-date.
Eexchanging experiences (Jugend am Werk Stmk GmbH)
In addition, the dissemination of one’s own project can be brought into focus. How is the target group informed about my service? Is it known in my region? Often, access to the target group leads through other professional support systems, which – in terms of sustainability – ensure that the young people arrive and stay at the mentoring process.
Reflective questions for the reader:
- Am I aware of regional projects/offers?
- Are there stakeholders I should get in touch with?
- Is my work/project known regionally?