Most of us would like personalised career advice from women more experienced in their careers, but finding and approaching a mentor can be at best awkward and at worst, very difficult.
The biggest factor holding us back? Time. Those starting their careers are busy, those who are more advanced are often even busier.
Sydney businesswomen Bobbi Mahlab and Adina Jacobs knew this and that’s why when they heard about the idea of a “mentor walk” while attending a conference in Shanghai, China last year – they decided to bring it to Australia.
The concept is simple: a small group of senior women or executive leaders agree that, when they are available, they will be part of a monthly informal walk with a bunch of pre-registered mentees (three per mentor) for an hour of support, knowledge exchange and problem-solving.
Mahlab and Jacobs held their first Mentor Walk in Sydney in October 2016 and have since seen close to 400 women come to walk and talk in the NSW capital as well as Brisbane.
Next month, the pair are bringing the successful model to Melbourne for the first time, with a walk around the Tan organised for 7.15am Friday, 3 November.
Mahlab encouraged any woman with a burning career question to register and come along as it's a great way to get the advice you need in one hit, although she recommends going along two months in a row to deal with any follow-ups.
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"We think of it as speed mentoring. Other types of mentoring where there is a longer relationship and involve a more detailed chemistry are valuable too, but they're different to what we're doing. This is about getting advice now."
Advice for dilemmas such as: "I'm starting a new job, how do I make a good impression?" or "I'm having difficulty influencing senior management".
Mahlab, who runs her own content marketing agency, says the walks also have the added benefit of another two women present, so it's a great place to workshop ideas, with extra perspectives offered.
Plus, walking really gets the ideas flowing, Mahlab says. And as a bonus, you can tick exercise off that day's to-do list.
Join Cyan Teed, Adriana Colaneri, Annette Kimmet and other business leaders at the Botanic Gardens, in Melbourne on 3 November, by lodging an application here.
The next Mentor Walk in Sydney will be 27 October and the next in Brisbane is 20 October. To sign find out more about Mentor Walks in Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane visit MentorWalks.com.au. You can also follow them on Instagram or Facebook.