The Important Role Of A Mentor
The Crewing Company was thrilled to attend the Broadcast Tech Festival last month. We had the pleasure of listening to some excellent speakers from across the industry, with talks ranging from sustainability, the recruitment crisis and improving diversity. One of the key themes that ran through these talks was the importance of mentoring those looking to break into the industry.
The media industry has been rapidly changing in the past decade, with a push to bring in people from more diverse backgrounds. This was a stressed point – it’s not that there is a lack of diverse talent, far from it. The emphasis needs to be on demonstrating to individuals how they can achieve their goals to work within the media industry and how to move up the ranks, as well as having role models to look to, to prove that anyone can make it. Very often individuals feel they do not have the skills or know-how to succeed in the media and so their talent will go to waste.
After attending Broadcast Tech Fest one method we have discussed as a business will be exploring the important role mentors can play. Mentorships are nothing new but a quick Google will reveal the high costs and experience required to enter into one of these programmes, often costing around £350 for an hour of an industry leaders time. This isn’t achievable for many young aspiring editors, directors, camera ops or anyone looking to make it in the media industry.
It is in the collective interest of the media industry to ensure new talent is developed and supported, and while there are many ways to achieve this, we believe that offering time and knowledge is invaluable to these individuals.
The benefits of mentoring:
Mentoring brings many benefits, this is something we touched on in a recent interview with our freelancer Nick K. Nick spoke on the importance of having someone you can shadow and directly learn from, for many, this type of learning is much more beneficial than perhaps the traditional methods of education. Having this guidance and support can allow an individual to ask questions, learn the tools of the trade and be guided into a career path.
Mentorships will often benefit a business or individual, if they succeed you succeed. A recent study conducted by HaloRecognition found that many employees, 84%, said they would stay with a business for far longer if they are offered opportunities to develop and grow. Further to this 67% of businesses have reported an increase in productivity due to mentoring. Often a rewarding experience for the mentee, it is also an excellent opportunity to develop your management skills, retain talent and improve a business’s performance.
What makes a good mentor?
It is hard to determine exactly what makes a good mentor but speaking with those who have had the benefit of a mentor, there seem to be three key takeaways that have proven to make a success of the relationship – they are supportive, enthusiastic and committed to their mentee.
In our experience, a mentor should build a strong relationship with a mentee. This will enable them to share their skills, knowledge and expertise. It is important then that when looking for a mentor or enrolling into a mentorship programme that time is taken to explore what skills you want to develop and if they are a good match for you.
How to find a mentor?
The first step when looking for a mentor is to decide what you would like to gain. This decision could be based on looking to develop your skills, set up on a career path or look for guidance on how to break into the industry.
Often, the best way to find a mentor is to look at the people you are already surrounded by since they already know what goals you are trying to accomplish and what your strongest skills are. Remember, the best mentors should be able to offer unbiased feedback, so look for someone in the industry you may already be connected to that will be able to offer it.
If you don’t have any connections within the industry or are looking to start your career, there are many other ways to find a mentor. For example, if you are focusing on production get involved in your local filming community. Find where local film enthusiasts spend their time (like a film club) and prepare yourself with relevant questions. You can also research editors/producers/graphic artists you admire and get yourself on their radar by using social media to post and comment on their content, or even direct message them. LinkedIn can also be a great tool to connect and initiate a conversation with a potential mentor. Attending film industry conferences, seminars, and conventions like the BFI Short Film Festival is another great way to connect with industry professionals.
There are many paths to mentorships, it doesn’t have to cost the earth it is about finding someone who is willing to take a chance and commit their time to develop your passions.
Taking inspiration from what we have heard at Broadcast Tech Festival, we at The Crewing Company really see the value in mentorship programmes, and are going to be exploring this more in 2022 to see if there is any way we can help give back to the industry a little…so watch this space!
Feel free to reach out to us if you are looking for any guidance or suggestions on how to start your career get in contact with our friendly Talent Manager Aimee she will be more than happy to discuss your options and career path with you.