What does Kevin Bacon have to do with mentoring?

Kevin Bacon
By Stef Scott

4 April 2017

You might be wondering, what on earth does Kevin Bacon have to do with mentoring? Well, here at ICAS, we run a great Career Mentoring programme. 

Much like Kevin Bacon's famous 'six degrees of separation', upcoming CAs who join the ICAS mentoring programme are connected with the global CA community. It might not connect you to Kevin himself (because only CAs can join), but it will certainly help you tap into some valuable guidance and expertise.

Six degrees of Kevin Bacon

The game known as the "six degrees of Kevin Bacon" is played by movie buffs to see how closely linked anybody in Hollywood is to the actor, who inadvertently inspired the game with a chance comment in an interview.

For business professionals the world over, the beauty of the 'Bacon effect' is that we are all connected to each other by a surprisingly small number of links. According to the 'six degrees of separation' theory, any two people are no more than six or fewer acquaintance links apart. 

Make the 'Bacon effect' work for you

How does this relate to CAs looking for someone to help guide them through their career? Well, finding the right mentor is important; for CAs it can mean the difference between good performance and outstanding performance, as well as setting you on the right path for future career success.

Your own personal connections might lead you to a mentor who has the time, the right experience and the inclination to help you, but not everyone has those connections.

70% of the CAs who signed up agree that the mentoring programme allows them access to mentors who would not have been attainable otherwise.

Can you rely on chance to find that person? Your employer might offer some form of mentoring or career shadowing. Even then, you'll probably be looking at a limited pool of potential mentors and may have no say in choosing your mentor.

It is often far more beneficial to sound out ideas and talk through your challenges with someone who is completely unconnected to your organisation. Finding a mentor from outside your existing network brings a truly objective, fresh perspective – and that's invaluable. Being able to choose the most appropriate mentor is one of the key benefits of the ICAS Career Mentoring programme.

So how does it work?

Our mentoring programme can help you use the 'Bacon effect' to your advantage. It provides a structured way to find a mentor who matches your specific career needs and can help you reach your goals. Because it's a global, virtual programme, the only limits for connecting with people are whether you have signed up or not.

As Nick Lander, one of our mentors explains:

"A professional membership organisation can sometimes struggle to engage with its members. The mentoring programme facilitates a personal and professional network that sits outside your network – time and experience are something that aren't easily accessed unless there's a framework to support it. 

"The best part is just being involved in something that's so obviously 'right' for ICAS members. In 20 years we'll consider this normal, not something new and innovative – and hopefully those who are today's mentees will grow into tomorrow's mentors."

70% of the CAs who signed up agree that the mentoring programme allows them access to mentors who would not have been attainable otherwise. 

Take a step towards reducing your degrees of separation from the CA community by signing up for the ICAS mentoring programme today.

Image: Paul McKinnon / Shutterstock.com


  • Career development
  • Career mentoring
  • Career mentoring resources
  • Development of the profession

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