In late 2019, when I was still working at JLL in Melbourne, and before I launched CRE Success, I was proud to be selected as a Mentor in the Property Council of Australia's 2020 Mentoring Program.
An outline of the program (as it was intended to be before COVID-19 was "a thing") is detailed in the graphic below this blog post. Needless to say, things panned out a little differently, but fortunately the Property Council recognised the disruption and extended the 2020 program by six months.
The program is for mentees who work in property and want to develop their career; mentees are not necessarily newbies to the industry. In fact, around 50% of the mentees are managers themselves.
Mentors must have 15 years of experience in the industry; 82% of them are senior level executives. All of them want to give something back to the industry that has given them so many opportunities.
There is a rigorous selection process to first accept mentors (who are volunteers) and then a detailed process to match them with mentees (who pay to participate). At the beginning of the program, the mentor receives a report detailing how they are compatible with their assigned mentee.
I had a couple of face-to-face meetings with my mentee in 2020 before COVID-19 meant that the remainder of our catch-ups throughout the year were all online. This shift meant that one of my other motivations for joining the program - the ability to network with fellow mentors - had virtually (pardon the pun) disappeared.
Nevertheless, volunteering as a mentor in this program helped me in a number of ways I hadn't expected. I enjoyed being able to support someone who I would not typically have the opportunity to partner with - it is rewarding to help the commercial real estate leaders of tomorrow.
I gained some new perspectives about how I can better support clients in my business, and how a mentoring relationship should work (in comparison to a coaching relationship). One way to put it simply is mentoring imparts knowledge, whereas coaching unlocks knowledge.
I also got to spend some time with a couple of other mentees (even though it was 2020, throughout the program there were opportunities to speak with other participants, including some that were directly facilitated by the program organisers).
The Property Council of Australia is hosting an online briefing session for people interested in participating as mentors or mentees in the 2021 program. You can click here to register for the free event.
Applications for 2021 participants close at 5:00pm AEST on Thursday 29 April 2021. If the program is of interest to you, I would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Just get in contact and ask away!
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