Becoming a mediator was never meant to be an easy journey. It takes a lot of endurance, time and practice. Before you’re able to get to the point where you can proudly proclaim to the world you’ve made it, a lot of sacrifices will have to be made.
Then again, no journey was ever meant to be a single-step process. If it were so, we’d all be in the right careers and professions right out of school. That’s not the case. Following ADR as a profession can be especially difficult from the perspective of a young person who wants to get into mediation.
Good things take time
It’s a phrase that has been repeated so many times it’s likely to render some blind at the very sight of the phrase once more. With mediation training, you’ll come across the phrase over and over.
Experienced mediators and ADR professionals, when asked for insights regarding their time as mediators, often snarkily exclaim that, “mediation is only for people with grey hair.” It’s another phrase that has been said so much by previous generations that many have considered it law.
The terrain has changed quite a bit over time, and coming across a 27-year-old mediator is far easier than it used to be. With a combination of motivation, training, skills and, of course, experience, competency comes easily.
Take an online mediation course and gain the skill to engage your peers and drive them towards a solution to problems they are facing at home or in the workplace. It’s an art you’ll never regret learning.
Creating your own opportunities
With that said, the market is still extremely skewed towards older generations when on the lookout for mediators. You don’t have to make a living off mediation to consider yourself a mediator.
The skills gained in the process are useful for helping people all around you settle their own disputes by creating a trusting environment. Being human beings, these kinds of squabbles are plentiful everywhere we go.
In other words, mediation isn’t a skill that you wait to come to you. You have to create an opportunity at every instance that you see fit. In the process, you’ll gather as much experience as you possibly can.
Shadow, Observe, Assist
Experience is the best teacher, and what better way to gain experience for your career in ADR other than shadowing real-life mediations? It’s from here that you’ll be able to learn how to preside over mediations in fields you’re not a specialist in.
For instance, these sessions will offer you a glimpse of what it’s like to mediate over people in the construction industry with a work dispute, even if you have no experience with construction law.
Age does not directly correspond with your competence as a mediator, regardless of what they tell you. Challenge yourself – go for another mediation training program, take some more online ADR courses, maybe even get accredited.
That’s how you as a young mediator get the experience to forge ahead and gain the credibility you deserve. What comes next is up to you.