An insight into mentoring, by Bethan Wilkin

Thinking of applying for the Rise Mentoring Programme but not sure if it’s for you?

This personal and insightful blog from Bethan Wilkin, Head of Content Delivery at ITV, who previously participated as a Rise Mentee (and plans to become a mentor in the future) highlights how mentoring can offer crucial support and guidance at any stage of your career, as well as unlock new networks.

What is mentoring?

Mentoring for me is so many things. It’s about perspective, taking a step back and looking at your challenges from a distance. It’s taking control of your career and development, and being proactive instead of letting things cruise.

Mentoring allows us to widen our horizons, by having access to a new set of contacts, resources, hierarchies, companies, forums. It also gives us neutrality, an unbiased person who can objectively represent things without emotion. Advice is also a given, suggestions and options that you potentially haven’t thought about; a diversity of different paths and perspectives are always presented.

When you get a Rise  Mentor, you also – by proxy – gain a whole new network; a group of the most talented, savvy and driven women at your fingertips!

Lastly, Mentoring for me is having that unwavering support in the form of your own personal cheerleader, there is an element of empathy and synergy with working in the same industry as you. Who wouldn’t want these things in their career?!

Why is mentoring so important?

I believe it shows you are one of those people who always want to grow, develop and improve. Ultimately it means you are of a ‘growth mindset’ – that you are open to learning new skills, thoughts and perspectives.

Mentoring is sometimes about embracing the unknown and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. All of these things I think are key in understanding ‘who you are’ in your career, knowing yourself, your skills, your passions and using all of that as a harness to catapult your career in the direction you want. And if you don’t know which way you want to be catapulted? You will find out! 

How the Rise mentoring programme benefitted me at the time

I applied to the programme pre covid and in hindsight – it was the best and worst timing to get a mentor. I had been promoted to Head of Department at ITV in January 2020 and I had a huge learning curve ahead of me, but what was also ahead of me was one of the hardest parts of my career and personal life to date. When Covid hit just a few weeks into my new job, I also had a 3 and 6 year old at home with me. The demand for content went through the roof and I was burnt out. I went through a very difficult time at work where I had to put proving myself in my new role to one side, and just survive.

My mentor, Lisa, was a like breath of fresh air to me – she was a bit like spring after a very long winter. She probably did more than be a mentor to me because of the pandemic circumstances. She felt like a very safe space in what was the hardest rollercoaster but she kept me strapped in and sane.  

The long-lasting impacts of the programme on me and my career

Being a Rise Mentee opened up a whole new world for me professionally. It made me realise the benefits of something like mentoring but also the perks that come with it, like a network (your cohort) at your fingertips – I have access to some of the most talented and diverse women in this industry at the click of a button or a WhatsApp group which is just priceless. Also the training and development opportunities they provide are so valuable and insightful. It’s also inspired me to become a mentor myself which is the plan for 2022!

Find out more about the Rise Mentoring Programme

A huge thanks to Bethan for sharing her personal mentoring journey! If you’d like to apply for the Rise Mentoring Programme, visit our Mentoring section.