Inspiring Connections gives individuals from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to build self-confidence and find access into networks that lead to fulfilling and sustainable career paths – through gaining social capital. The programme is unique because not only does it bring volunteers (Social Capital Advocates) together with individuals (Candidates) seeking personal development and access to business networks; Advocates then support Candidates to identify and develop the skills and capacities necessary to build their own social capital. Where the opportunity exists, Advocates will advocate on Candidate’s behalf to help them get a foot in the door of a career opportunity.
Candidates and Advocates are expected to be able to attend six 2.5 hours sessions that are held fortnightly at Catch22's head office in Old Street. The first session of 2020 will be held Tuesday 21st April, running fortnightly at 6:00pm-8:30pm finishing Tuesday 30th June. Please contact the programme manager if you can't make any of these dates.
In order for Advocates to best support Candidates, it is important to build a relationship based on mutual trust, respect, and understanding. The programme seeks to create a space for participants to share and learn from each other’s experiences.
Advocates will support Candidates to identify, learn, and develop the skills and capacities necessary to meet their career goals. Candidates will learn about charting their career path, defining their purpose, negotiating, accessing funding and resources, and building professional networks.
‘Social Capital’ is a person’s network that provides social support, trust, and reciprocity. In a practical sense, it is often as simple as someone helping you 'get a foot in the door' of a new opportunity. Exploring how Candidates can generate and use their own social capital will be a key part of this programme.
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
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
Gain an understanding of different professions and find out that a career path doesn’t have to be a straight line. Advocates and Candidates will look at the importance of harnessing their personal brand to boost their career, considering how it is viewed by potential employers or investors.
You’ll have an amazing opportunity to learn about the entrepreneurial mindset from Advocates sharing stories of success and failure and giving insights into what it takes to overcome challenges and achieve career goals.
Learn how to manage complex interactions such as asking for a salary increase, pitching for investment, or negotiating with a colleague. Advocates and Candidates will share experiences and insights, working together to develop tips and best practice in these situations.
You will work with Advocates to reflect on what they see as their purpose in life. Candidates will focus on passions, what they enjoy doing, what they are skilled at, what would bring meaning to their life, and most importantly how they can be paid for fulfilling their purpose!
Exploring the value and importance of partnerships, and relationships, and how to go about creating or joining networks. Have the confidence to make your own connections, either in groups or 1:1.
Advocates will support Candidates to create a business or personal plan with a road map to ‘success’. If Advocates have decided to support Candidates by advocating on their behalf going forward, this session will create the basis for ongoing relationships.
Ismael Hayden, Catch22 | Programme Manager | firstname.lastname@example.org