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J-Map to give career guidance to young Jewish professionals here

When I applied to graduate school in Pittsburgh, I thought I knew what I wanted to do with my career. As time progressed, though, I wasn’t so sure.

Luckily, I could turn to the Center for Women in that city, which offered a mentorship program for women in transition. I was paired with an executive level career woman who coached me through the application and interview processes.

My experience is becoming the new norm.

As young professionals seek guidance from mentors to advance their careers, opportunities for learning on the job are drying up and professional development budgets are being slashed.

So millennials are turning to trusted advisors to help them make smart moves instead of lateral moves.

“More than previous generations, millennials want to find meaning by integrating who they are with what they do in their quest toward a holistic, authentic identity,” stated in a UJA-Federation of New York study.

The Jewish Family & Career Services and the Young Adult Division of the Jewish Federation of Louisville have responded to this demand by starting J-MAP: The Jewish Mentorship Alliance for Professionals. The new effort is designed to help young professionals within the Louisville Jewish community navigate career advancement and professional development.

J-MAP is geared to help young professionals develop leadership and interpersonal skills through coaching and feedback while gaining new tools to advance their goals. Mentors have the opportunity to expand their leadership and interpersonal skills and gain new perspectives and ideas while sharing key insights, tools and experiences.

Applications for the first cohort of mentorship pairs will open in late April. Young professionals who have been in the workforce for at least one year will be paired with mentors who have been in the workforce for at least five years. Mentors will act as guides and challengers for their charges rather than career counselors.

The pairs will meet monthly for six months with support from YAD and Hillel Director Benji Berlow and JFCS Career Counselor Erin Heakin. The pairings will be made based on career interests, professional and personal goals.

The program is free to the participants and is funded in part through a Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence grant. Contact Benji Berlow at bberlow@jewishlouisville.org or Erin Heakin and eheakin@jfcslouisville.org for more information.

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