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The benefits of professional mentors


Having the right guidance is an incredibly important and often under-appreciated part of career development, and organisations in the accountancy and financial services sector have been encouraging it through work-place schemes for some years now. 

Deloitte, for example, maintains a mentoring programme across its UK business which encourages junior employees to learn from their seniors and build relationships. Other firms also have specific mentoring programmes tailored to individual career development needs, with Mazars launching a programme designed to help female managers to progress. It isn’t just accountancy firms taking advantage of these schemes either; approximately 70% of Fortune 500 companies have some sort of scheme in place.

While big screen mentors like Star Wars’ Yoda and John Keating in the Dead Poet’s Society specialise in dispensing philosophical wisdom (work hard in busy season you must, young Padawan!) real life mentors are focused on bestowing young accountants with knowledge they’ve gained over their careers. Mentors are able to help junior professionals to make career-development decisions, advise them on how to approach professional challenges, and provide insight on matters of best-practice that new starters may be less comfortable raising with line managers. 

Mentoring isn’t just beneficial to those on the receiving end, however, and those providing junior members of staff with advice can benefit immeasurably from the experience too. Not only can advising up-and-coming accountants on career issues add a pastoral string to a budding leader’s bow, but it also signals to HR departments that someone is serious about becoming a boss. 

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