I went on a Crossing Thresholds course and wanted to put something back into the programme. I thought would be a development opportunity for me. I always find it interesting to meet people from other government departments to get their perspective on the Civil Service.

I was a bit concerned that I may not get on with my mentee. I think I am fairly easy going, but it might be that we would be on different wavelengths. I wanted to give my mentee sufficient time and support. I changed jobs three times whilst I was a mentor and pressure on my time was an issue for me, however the key is to be organized.

I found it a very positive experience. I hit it off with straight away with my first mentee and we found it easy to talk. The fact that I had done the Crossing Thresholds course meant we could compare experiences. I reviewed her competencies and explained the parts of the course I had found most useful, such as interviewing techniques. I also reminded myself to take my own advice on dealing with setbacks, when my new job changed overnight, following the EU referendum result.

My mentee was good at chasing me to confirm our meetings and understanding when I had to cancel one.  She gave me informal feedback, which was positive. I would like to seek feedback as part of my end of year review.

Coffee shops are useful places to meet as it gets you both away from the office.  Set a specific point for discussion for each meeting.  Agree at the start how often you will meet, but you may want to review this part-way during the year. 

Margaret Philipson Thresholds Mentor