How do I find a mentor?

Hello, thank you for reading.  

I am 3 weeks into my first HR Advisor role after having completed my Level 5 last Oct. I am working within a SEND school/children's home environment, and have started my new role with no HR Manager as this post is vacant. I have hit the ground running, not sure which way is up at present, but I love it! It's what I've wanted to do for years. Almost immediately the pandemic started and within 5 days I was working from home.  I am currently trying to cover the HR Advisor and HR Manager role as best I can. 

I have been approached by the Principal, asking me if I'd like to consider taking the HR Manager role.  They said they have been very impressed by the level of research I have done in response to various queries and that I'm a very good cultural fit.  They are very aware that I lack experience but would like to offer me any support and training that I think will be relevant to help me grow into the role.  I appreciate this is an amazing opportunity and I really want to take it, but I am very anxious about making mistakes and am very aware of my lack of knowledge in certain areas. 

Is there anyone with HR experience in the SEND/children's Home environment who would consider mentoring me if I decide to accept the HR Manager role? And really, should I accept or not?

I am based just on the Hampshire/Dorset/Wiltshire border. 

I look forward to hearing your comments, suggestions and ideas. Thank you.


  • Hi Wendy

    What a fantastic opportunity. They clearly believe in you and you should believe in yourself too!!

    I am sure you will smash it and someone on here will be able to help you further. Go for it!!

  • Dear Wendy

    I can't help directly as no background in teaching/school environments but did not want to read and run.

    It looks like a great opportunity - standalone roles can be absolutely wonderful or horrendous (and anything in between), depending on how supportive the environment is that you find yourself in. I am with you on the fear of making mistakes front, it still stops me from sleeping at night at times and I have been doing this for 20 years. What I have learned from that is that, no wonder how much experience I gain, this is part of me and will likely never entirely disappear. It might be that you are the same as me, or that, as you gain more experience, you will completely blossom and totally trust your own judgement! I would wish for the latter for you. But the point is that there is really only one way to find out - if you trust your employers to really follow through on their promises of support and training, then go for it. To paraphrase an old saying: Better to have tried and failed then never to have tried at all.

    Some caution required though to ensure that they're not just trying to get you to do two jobs rather than one and only pay you for one. Again, this comes down to trust - I hope that in your particular environment, the staff are more likely to actually be nice and supportive. I think your idea of finding yourself a mentor is excellent, but if no one comes through, I can highly recommend turning to this community which is amazingly helpful and supportive. Good luck, whatever you decide to do!
  • In reply to Lisa:

    Thank you Lisa, that was a lovely thing to write.
  • In reply to Wendy:

    You are more than welcome and you HAVE GOT THIS
  • In reply to Anka:

    Anka, thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I can confirm this won't be a 2-jobs into one situation and the Principal has already ear-marked my successor, and I trust them completely. I honestly feel like I've 'come home'.

    I am also having trouble sleeping at night - but, knowing there are others out there (like you too) that suffer this affliction, I will try to turn this into a positive thing , as it proves to me that I care deeply about every decision I have to make which can only be a good thing moving forward.

    Thank you again.
  • Hi Wendy, this sounds like an amazing opportunity, and sounds like you’ve already fitted in nicely which I think is sometimes half the battle in HR! I work in a local authority supporting schools and children’s social care including residential settings so if you do want a sounding board with any queries or issues I’d be more than happy to help! If I can be of any help let me know and I can send you my contact details.

    All the best if you do take on the role!

  • In reply to Emma:

    Hi Emma that's extremely kind of you. I'd be very grateful if we could exchange details. Thank you! Should I list my email here or is there a more private way to get in touch?
  • Hi Wendy, if you want to email me my email address is emmamcg_21@hotmail.com , look forward to hearing from you.

    Kind regards