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Mentoring Helped Me Make the Big Step from Butchery to Office Work

The mentoring programme was in its infancy when I joined FDM in January 2016. At first I was apprehensive about joining the programme as I had never had a mentor before. Having previously been a mentor I wasn’t sure I wanted to become a mentee and admit that I may need some support. Having been a butcher’s assistant before joining FDM; I realised that it’s a big step going from butchery to office work and a mentor could help me succeed in this new career path.

After speaking to my fellow trainees and a few trainers and after realising how important it was to widening my FDM network, I decided to apply and was matched with a Consultant who was out on site. Initially our mentoring relationship was positive, but as I was nearing the end of my training the communication began to drop off.

My first few weeks on site were quite stressful as I’m sure they have been for many people. I really could have done with some regular contact with a friendly contact. Recognising this, I applied for another mentor. Unfortunately the same thing happened again.

It was at the first Mentoring Breakfast session in Leeds at the end of 2016 that I realised I wanted a mentor with a different style, perhaps a more hands-on approach or someone who had more experience, so I applied for yet another mentor.

My perseverance has proven to be the right decision! Now I have a mentor who provides great advice and encourages me to challenge myself. Being part of a strong mentoring pair has helped me grow both professionally and personally while out on site.

Co-incidentally it was at this event where I became a mentor myself. I didn’t go with the intention of becoming a mentor, but after speaking to some of the trainees at the Leeds Academy, it was clear to me that I could provide some useful support; at least I like to think the support I offer is useful.

I was matched with a very enthusiastic trainee and at the moment I am trying to support in getting them placed. This has been such an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

It might take time to find the right mentor, but I would advise you to be patient and to talk to the mentoring team about your requirements. Tell them what you want from the programme, and they will make sure you find the perfect fit. I would definitely recommend the programme to anyone at FDM; if you have just joined or have been here for five years. It’s a great way to expand your network, give support and offers an unbiased point of contact for any questions you may have.


Updated 7 March, 2017

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