Inspiring Connections is a personal and professional development programme for people to gain the opportunities, support or momentum they need to take the next steps towards their career goals. It works by bringing people with barriers to work, Inspiring Connections Candidates, together with Advocates; a range of professionals and business owners motivated to support others to find fulfilling work. Candidates and Advocates participate in six group-based sessions together to empower Candidates and facilitate valuable new relationships.
Candidates and Advocates have their first opportunity to meet each other. Participants will gain an understanding of how the programme will work. There will be an opportunity for participants to reflect on their goals for the programme, as well as setting goals for the next steps in their career.
Participants have an opportunity to learn about social capital and personal brand. Participants will gain an understanding of the value of relationships, networks, and social capital. Additionally, they will develop an understanding of their personal brand and develop ideas to present themselves more effectively.
Candidates will deliver a presentation to the group, and receive constructive feedback to support with preparing for future interviews and presentations within a professional setting.
Advocates will support Candidates to create a business or professional plan with a road map to achieving their career goal. Where Advocates have decided to support Candidates by advocating on their behalf going forward, this session will create the basis for ongoing relationships.
Participants have an opportunity to reflect and identify gaps in their personal brand, professional development, skills and knowledge, and consider ways to bridge these gaps.
Candidates will present their future plans, based on the feedback they have received throughout the programme. Candidates will leave the programme with a clear outline of which actions to put in place to achieve their goals.
Both Candidates and Advocates commit to attending six 2-hour sessions, held using video conferencing software.
For Candidates to receive the most effective support, it is important to build a relationship based on mutual trust, respect, and understanding. The programme creates a space for Candidates and Advocates to share and learn from each other’s experiences.
Barriers to work go beyond skills and qualifications, it’s also about how someone sees themselves and visualises their future. Inspiring Connections gives Candidates the opportunity to reflect, gain perspective and identify meaningful next steps.
Candidates identify, learn, and develop the skills and capacities they need to meet their career goals. Advocates support Candidates to generate clear career plans, understand the value of relationships and develop their presentation and communication skills.
This course has made me want to volunteer again as a mentor. A mixture of sharing my life experiences and our collective discussions made me feel that we collectively helped a group of wonderful candidates move forward with their aspirations.
Inspiring Connections Advocate
A clear sense of direction and purpose with their careers, all backed by a newfound confidence and an action plan to make their career goals a reality. Access to a supportive group of professionals and business-people with the opportunity to ask for advice and guidance. Knowledge of how to build strong personal and professional networks and increase the power of your relationships.
Advocates have the opportunity to make new connections and change someone’s life for the better. Receive advice and support on how to be an effective mentor. Advocates are offered the chance to join an alumni of professionals who have taken part in the programme. Finally, you will be given the chance to meaningfully engage with, and positively impact a diverse groups of Candidates on their career journeys.
It was just confidence-building the whole time we were there, every month. It’s the fact that you get to talk to people who are well connected, and now I can bring those skills to future meetings with professionals when I meet them.
Inspiring Connections Candidate
I work in electronics from home fixing phones. I got into some trouble in my early twenties but had a child and that’s what changed everything. I wanted to start my own business, but I wanted to do it the right way, not just winging it. I needed some advice and guidance from people who have done it the right way. My idea was fizzling out because I thought it was a dead end, but after taking part I’ve realised I have so much more to do and develop for my product. Inspiring Connections puts you in contact with people who can support you to grow.
I am a mother with 3 daughters and a fashion graduate. I studied BA Fashion Design, at London College of Fashion. After graduating I was looking for employment, but my ultimate dream goal was to setup my own fashion business. Inspiring Connections has increased my self-confidence & self-belief. I have gained a great mentor who I am very proud of, he has helped me to stay focused and is willing to meet me where I'm at so I can keep progressing.
I am a management consultant, specialising in Investment Banking technology software development. I really enjoyed discussing topics I had never considered before. Topics such as social capital and Ikigai, talking and listening openly and constructively with the group - I found it particularly interesting and thought provoking. This course has made me want to volunteer again as a mentor.
At Wright & Teague, we make fine jewellery that is ethical from mine to wearer and hand made in London. I have really enjoyed the engagement with both candidates and fellow advocates, the thoughtfully considered structure of the programme has enabled me to question elements of my practise as well as advising the candidates. I would recommend this programme to fellow Livery members.