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Exploring the Global Growth in Online Mentoring

While the term mentor might conjure up images of very traditional learning environments that might seem somewhat obsolete in the 21st century, the field is quickly growing online today. As the field of online learning as a whole continues to grow, it seems like more students have elected to take advantage of mentoring opportunities available to them.

More than likely, this is due at least in part to the fact that online learning is extremely impersonal by nature. Students might want to experience some of the human interaction that they're missing out on by going to school this way.

Regardless of the reasons individuals choose to seek out mentors, the recent growth has created a healthy number of new jobs in the field.

Working in Online Psychology

Even though a majority of people involved in online mentoring don't have any sort of formal background in the practice of psychology, it's obvious that they're required to have a good understanding of how other people work. Whether a person mentors those trying to build an online blog, monetizing their digital advertising campaign or going to college, they have to be able to understand how their students think.

Communications skills are therefore in high demand among people who plan on working in this field. As the sector continues to grow, it's likely that demand will outpace supply.

Observers have urged that those interested in the field continue to keep an eye on the fact that this growth is indeed global. That means linguistics training has also begun to grow alongside it as people try to break into the field.

Linguistics & Online Mentoring

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is hardly new, considering that a psychiatrist named John Grinder was experimenting with the technique in California as early as the mid-1970s. However, this form of covert life experience reprogramming has really started to catch on because of the drastic growth of online resources that deal with it.

Consider the fact that it was once very difficult to get a life coach certification, because few people could have traveled across the nation to the nearest testing facility. Students can now gain this certification right over the Internet and start to apply the NLP techniques they learn online no matter where they are physically.

Likewise, a healthy amount of written materials have now been republished in various eBook formats. Those providing services in the business consulting and even mental health fields have been able to share materials that were originally published in print form. This is creating a new form of directed self-help that's unique to the Internet.

Pundits are now starting to consider whether or not these programs should always be voluntary. Currently, an overwhelming majority of people who provide them are independent contractors. Those who seek them out do so on an individual basis, and they generally have to foot the bill for any fees themselves.

A few firms have begun to implement NLP programs that are taught by certified teaching assistants who are trained to handle the needs of multiple individuals on a larger basis. While it doesn't look like any larger enterprises have taken the plunge and loaded lecture halls up as of yet, that could very well be on the horizon.

In a world where managers are desperate to improve employee satisfaction rates in order to enhance their bottom line, they have quickly found a number of ways to incorporate this kind of training into the business environment.

Mentoring & Self-Help Trends Impacting the Workplace

This continued growth is quickly changing the way small businesses provide products and services as well. For instance, companies are reevaluating the way that they handle internal communication right down to the way in which they write emails. Some people have opined that individuals could use mentors to get used to the specific corporate culture of certain organizations as they transition into a new job.

Others have found that younger employees don't see the need for formalities like longer emails and proper business communication. Integrating these employees into the workforce isn't always easy when there's a disconnect between individuals from different eras.

Small group communications classes and mentors have helped to ensure that people from disparate backgrounds are able to communicate together just fine in spite of any barriers that might have otherwise kept them apart. These programs have been working so well, that some larger companies are using them to teach long-term financial planning skills to their employees.

It seems like most mentors will continue to focus on human interaction for the foreseeable future, however.

Human Interaction in an Impersonal World

There's no question about whether or not the mass proliferation of digital devices has made it more difficult for people to interact with one another on an individual scale. However, they're now helping to overcome this gap as well.

One recent workplace study found that less than 20 percent of people nationwide predicted a reduction in stress over the next few years. People have found that as the world communicates more quickly, it might not necessarily be doing so as well as it did in the past.

This in turn generates stress, which is bad for personal interactions. This same series of studies suggested that just taking a few minutes out every day to refocus one's communication skills can drastically drop stress levels.

Considering that one educational institution formally incorporated electronic mentoring into its programs, it's not difficult to imagine that this same approach will be taken by businesses in the next few years. This should help to continue pushing the growth of online mentoring services.

Demand in the Next Fiscal Year

It's unlikely that demand will stop growing anytime soon. As a result, there should be more job openings in the world of online mentoring opening up on a daily basis. Some people are even starting to explore the possibility of being independent consultants, which might soon become its own trend. Regardless of how the industry adapts, it's clear that it's going to need to in order to keep up.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.

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