When I first considered a return to work after a lengthy career break to raise my young family, my first point of call was Justine, a former colleague and friend who kindly agreed to act as a mentor. 

Without Justine, I'm not convinced I would have found the courage to network and find work. Her advice and support as well as her views on managing a work life balance encouraged me to set up as a freelancer and I haven't looked back.

Whatever your age and stage of career, a mentor can be a key ingredient to success and so I was pleased to read about Cityparents cross-company mentoring scheme which is still open to applicants. (The deadline is 3 October).

Just one piece of advice, look after your mentor. Hopefully they will find their role rewarding but remember they are giving up their time to support you - make sure to thank them and perhaps take them out for lunch.