How to Hire a Virtual Mentor to Get the Job You Want After 50

By Kerry Hannon

Copyright © 2015 AARP. All rights reserved.

Job hunting can be rough, especially after the age of 50. Virtual mentoring may be just what you need to set you on your way to getting that job you want. If you can’t seem to find someone in your professional and social circles who’s willing and able to mentor you in person, consider hiring a virtual mentor, who can offer guidance from a remote location.

Virtual mentoring is less personal, but it can still provide the guidance and connections you need to find the job you want.

To get connected with a virtual mentor, contact a mentor matchmaking firm, such as PivotPlanet, which offers videoconference, phone, and in-person mentoring for individuals for a fee. (It also offers Pivot Enterprise, a platform that universities, large nonprofits, and companies use to connect employees and alumni with subject-matter experts.

Check with your HR department or alumni association to see whether it’s offered to you free as a benefit; if not, ask whether your organization or alma mater might consider it.

The mission of PivotPlanet is to offer easy access to expert advisors in hundreds of fields, from acupuncture to financial planning to landscape design, and serve people looking to “pivot” from an existing career to another. It’s networking and counseling for job seekers of all stripes — from aspiring entrepreneurs to people burned out in the corporate cubicle and baby boomers planning encore careers at a fraction of the cost of hiring a career coach. Most one-hour sessions range from $40 to $125.

To get started on PivotPlanet, here’s what you do:

  1. Use the key word search on the PivotPlanet home page to describe the type of work you want to explore, and choose from the list of advisors resulting from your search.

    You can also click Find an Advisor, at the top of the page, to browse advisors by career type, job title, or any key word. Compare advisors by reading their biographies, watching their videos, scanning their photo galleries, and reading client reviews.

  2. Set up a PivotPlanet account or log in if you already have an account.

  3. Send a message to an advisor requesting a one-hour live video or phone conference and provide up to ten times and dates that work for you.

    In-person mentorship sessions are also available. Work directly with PivotPlanet staff to schedule a full-day or half-day in-person session. Your advisor will suggest three one-hour time slots for the conference, based on your preferences.

  4. Accept and book one of the slots.

  5. Have a list of questions ready to go and a pad and pen for note-taking.

  6. Connect with your advisor for your video or phone conference.

The mentor-mentee relationship can evolve over a series of sessions at regular intervals and on an as-needed basis.