Helping Tech Workers Bounce Back with Career Circles

3 min readApr 3, 2023

Anna is not just an all-star mentor on the Vektor platform. She works in Product for, which means she knows a thing or two about applications. We were so happy that she joined the Career Circles program, and even happier when she agreed to talk to us about her experience mentoring a group for the first time, and under these circumstances.

Q: Hey Anna! Can you tell us a bit about why you joined the program in the first place?

For sure! It came down to 3 main reasons:

  1. Program Fit

My job is in the careers and career growth space, so I felt that I knew the market and problems and might be of use to a program like this.

2. Personal Motivation

I had been a mentor on Vektor for some time before the Career Circles opportunity. I’ve enjoyed working with learners but that is always in a strictly 1:1 context. This was a different kind of challenge involving a larger group, so I wanted to put my skills out there in an environment I’m not used to.

3. Impact

This kind of links to my above point. Because all of my standard mentor sessions are 1:1, I maybe don’t spend as much time promoting my mentoring sessions as I’d like. Career Circles enabled me to demonstrate what I can bring to the table to a larger group of people, which I was really excited by.

Q: Of course this program was about the impact it could have on people getting support, but would you say the program also had an effect on you?

Certainly. It made me more confident, for one thing. Feedback is always lovely when an individual person tells you you’ve been helpful, and getting a whole group telling you the same thing is just amazing.

I think the nature of this particular program also let me access a greater deal of empathy than my regular mentoring sessions. Career Circles are for people who have been laid off, who might be at a low point professionally or even personally. In a standard 1:1 mentor session, you might just be talking to someone about how to get their next promotion or finish their next project.

So yes we were going through CV review and pitching, but there was also a therapy aspect to our sessions where listening to people vent about the time they were having was crucial. Just getting it out to people who also get it was a brilliant thing to witness.

I think the other thing that helped was being able to articulate why it’s necessary to have multiple sessions with a mentor rather than just one. The biggest problems aren’t going to be a quick fix — they require a sustained relationship with a mentor who can guide you to your next goal.

Q: Did You Have Any Highlights from the Session?

At the start of the whole program, I introduced the four topics we’d be covering as a group. One of them was ‘Pitching Yourself.’ The group decided in the beginning that they didn’t want to do this session and preferred to focus on things like CV review and technical interview skills.

I stuck to my guns a little bit and really emphasised how useful the pitching session might be. What happened was that people found it super helpful! I had comments that people went back to watch the video recording to make sure they’d absorbed everything. This is a highlight for me not just because it added value to my Circle, but also because it was a scenario where as a mentor I felt I should stand up for what I believed would be helpful, and was proved right. That’s definitely a confidence booster!

Q: Are You Still Active with Your Career Circle Group?

Oh yes! We still keep the group chat active. Mentees are getting higher success rates with the CV improvements and interview sessions.

I have to say that one person felt less confident after Career Circles, but for a good reason. He said that it taught him that there was so much he didn’t know and how much work he needed to do. So even though the outcome here was a temporary dip in confidence, I think this is a net positive if Career Circles sets him on a journey to really ace his future applications.




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