How to build your career in Mediation from scratch: Advice and career opportunities.

Get to know the opinion of Marco Antonio Manzano.

Hello, nice to greet you!

A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to collaborate with the International School of Mediation, to design a seminar that could help Mediation students and professional mediators who are taking their first steps in this world.

Try to help them see possible professional opportunities, understand the current situation of mediators in Spain, some tools that they could rely on in these first phases...etc.

That's what the live talk-interview had to be about.

A challenge for me, since speaking in public takes me out of my comfort zone (plus my internet didn't want to flow that day hehe), but it really was a pleasure.

Grateful for the treatment of María and the EIM team, for the welcome she received from the participants and for all the comments that came to me at the end of the talk.

It was easy for me to put myself in the situation, since the 24-year-old Marco was just there not long ago. In 2016, and I'm sure that talk would have been great for him.

At that time, imagine Marco, with my course finished.

Very excited about the world of mediation and conflict management. With a lot of motivation.

Wanting to dedicate myself to what I had liked so much, wanting to know more, to train more, to create new things...

But also, with many doubts, fears, diffuse information about the reality of mediation at that time, without references to whom I could ask,

A sea of doubts, really... that made me wonder if taking the step to dedicate myself to mediation was going to be worth it.

The other options I had on my list were more affordable…Oppose or go the traditional legal route. They didn't convince me either.

I wish I had a space like by then…

Precisely, this relatively new project, I did it with that 24-year-old Marco in mind. To bring light to this world that sometimes we cannot see clearly.

But hey, I'll talk to you about this project a little later.

You can imagine which path I finally chose. (Although not everyone in my family was happy with my choice haha)

Despite the doubts, not being clear about where to go, I began to take steps to dedicate myself to mediation.

And today, I can say that it has been fortunate to be able to dedicate myself to this.

Complicated, YES. I would tell you that a few times I have been on the verge of giving up...

Accept other jobs, look at job offers that had nothing to do with this, train in other fields...

A bit of a roller coaster, really.

But clearly it is being an exceptional path for me.

For all this, I was able to comment on several points, tips, and ideas in the talk that I put into practice to be able to say “I am a Mediator,” and to be able to dedicate my professional career, at least in part, to accompanying people in complicated situations.

Lucky, but also a very big responsibility.

I try to provide you with some that I consider important in these lines,

It's simply my vision. Which has worked for me. It doesn't have to work for you.

Give you some brushstrokes.

Not all of them because if we don't we go too long in the post.

And also, because if I give you all the value in this article...well, you wouldn't dare to watch the full talk either.

And you have to see it.

and subscribe to , we have tips, resources and so much more.

Here are some.

  1. Start taking steps, Proactivity, bro:

Don't wait for an opportunity to come to you.

Don't wait for an ideal mediation to arrive at your work table.

For a job to come your way.

Let your boss come looking for you with a salary under his arm.

Wait for a new mediation law to come out in Spain or for the institutions to commit to mediation.

You have it in your hand.

What did I do?

Well wait sometimes. Which didn't serve me any purpose apart from wasting my time.

But I also started trying to look for information everywhere to see what the movie was about.

I started looking for everything related to mediation in my city and surroundings, on social networks, in internet search engines, in magazines, among my contacts, asking teachers... everything.

I soaked up everything that had to do with Mediation.

For example, I set alerts for words like Mediator, Mediation, Conflict Management, in Google search engines so that I would receive notifications about everything that was published: jobs, new projects, initiatives...etc.

I focused on getting opinions from different professionals, from different places in Spain, from different companies or institutions... and above all, talking to them, even though I was terribly embarrassed, or I thought they were going to call me annoying.

Actually, most of us want to help. Don't think you're going to bother.

People want to help. And even more so if we have been through the same thing. So try.

I spoke to many people by phone, by mail, I made many visits,

It wasn't enough for me to just stick with a version that I liked and that could fit me. That he told me that everything was going to be wonderful if I dedicated myself to this.

I spoke with people who told me directly not to dedicate myself to mediation, that at the moment this field was very green.

Guess who.

The director of the master's degree that had trained me hahaha. Take it now.

A little frustrating, as you can imagine.

But there were also people who told me that the path was hard, but that you could build a career focused on conflict management.

That encouraged me to do so.

In addition to that, I started looking for information in forums, magazines and blogs.

And look, I created mine. The blog, which I have quite abandoned. But in his day he even won a prize.

I started with practically no idea about anything in 2016 or so.

With the imposter syndrome always in tow.

But he believed he had something to contribute to others.

Strengthen your network of contacts.

I also focused on creating a good network of contacts from the beginning.

To do this, help yourself with social networks, your acquaintances, your trainers...

Look for communities of mediators, who share news, projects, way of life...

Look for colleagues who are in your situation to share experiences, ideas, possible projects...

Go to networking events to meet other professional circles, to put yourself on the spot, to talk to others, to present your business and teach what you and mediation can add value to.

Go and speak in public. Even if you don't feel like it.

I started contacting other professionals such as lawyers, psychologists, educational centers...

If you talk to other professionals from other fields, complementary or not, perhaps you can generate synergies. At least they have you in mind and know what you do.

Even if you have to tell them that it is Mediation, not meditation.

In my case, I also contacted property administrations and neighboring communities.

Right there, they gave me the opportunity to handle the first conflicts. There are plenty of conflicts there, as you well know hahaha.

It arose from going to see a former professor, my current mentor and collaborator. Julio de la Torre. That he had a property management company. He is a lawyer, coach, trainer... You have to know him. It's amazing.

Also, from those early stages I remember another appointment I scheduled with Paco Iglesias, with whom I currently collaborate as a partner in different mediations in Companies. A super-reputable mediator at the national level and with a lot of experience.

You also have to meet Paco. It was my first interview on the Become Mediator Videopodcast. A marvel.

Apart from what I'm telling you, I got my first job as a conflict mediator by going to see a girl who advertised herself as a mediator who had her own mediation and advocacy business. In addition, I worked in the Mediation service of the Board of Estremadura.

And coincidentally, he was from my father's town. Life things.

And coincidence... A few months later he called me because a position as a family mediator was available in that same service of the Junta de Extremadura.

I was going to have the opportunity to mediate, I was going to learn from my colleagues, to work as a team, I was going to put into practice what I had learned. A great luck to remove that slab of the first mediation with the help I received.

In the talk, I talk about different jobs in public services, jobs in companies that are dedicated to mediation or negotiation and also about some private projects, entrepreneurship in this field... etc.

A bit of everything.

My vision, only.

Be well informed about where they may require your services as a mediator, since in the end the market is in charge.

So, back to knocking on doors and talking to people...

Look what I got from those first visits in my first months of landing:

Mentors, colleagues to collaborate with for many years, my first job, my first professional experience as a professional mediator, which was going to open doors to other jobs).

Without a doubt, it is priceless. (8 euros for coffees and some gasoline hahaha)

Well, I recommend something like that.

Knock on doors. Get moving as soon as possible. Even if it costs you. Even if it embarrasses you.

More steps you can take that I discuss in the talk:

Look for a good insurance professional to mediate.

Sign up for the registries that exist, even if you know that they are not going to call you from them.

Chambers of Commerce, your community, your city's courts, national associations... whatever.

At least it sounds good for your CV to be the mediator on these types of sites.

Knock on the doors of city councils, courts, associations, institutions, neighborhood communities and propose projects, initiatives that have to do with conflict management.

Surely some door will open for you sooner or later.

Participate in professional internships even if they are free,

Collaborate on relevant projects or create them yourself.

Every experience, no matter how small, can be an opportunity to learn and grow as a professional.

  1. Look for Mentors who can guide you.

Another very good piece of advice I can give is to spend time searching for mentors that I mentioned.

I was looking for people who could help me in my first steps.

That they guided me, that they gave me advice, that they counted on me for day-to-day tasks and that I could soak up all that.

From how they treated clients, to how they acted in the face of conflicts.

That they had the tools that I was trying to incorporate.

That they had matters in which I could learn...

And for this, you have to give before receiving in most cases.

Contributing other knowledge, generating projects, helping them in other tasks that you handle better.

Nowadays, with social networks, you can have mentors even without having a direct relationship with them.

For example, references in the field of conflict management who share content on their social networks.

Read books. They also mentor you well.

Whatever suits you best. But follow people who are where you would like to be in the future.

  1. Don't stop training:

It seems like a cliché…but spend time researching everything that has to do with conflict management skills and tools.

Books, YouTube channels, magazines, podcasts… That investment will pay off, for sure.

You will arm yourself with super valuable tools for your personal life, for your personal relationships and that will also be valued in the labor market.

Apart from the training necessary to work as a Mediator, which must be of quality, actively participate in courses, workshops, seminars, webinars and conferences to acquire knowledge and develop practical skills that will be useful in your future career.

And, don't just stick with Mediation.

Expand the range of tools and skills.

Negotiation, Nonviolent Communication, Collaborative Law, Restorative Justice...I could tell you many more...

Whatever catches your attention and that you think can add value to your personal and professional life.

Continuing education is the master key that will allow you to stay updated and relevant in a world that is constantly changing.

Important too.

Another type of knowledge. Key for those of us who dedicate ourselves to this.

He Know yourself.

Investigate your way of being, your abilities, your resources, how you face everyday problems, your way of acting when you try to mediate a problem, how you can improve your personal relationships...

You are going to learn a lot.

A long but super interesting road.

Oh, and start managing problems as soon as possible.

Even if it is in your closest circles.

Don't call it mediation, though.

People don't care what you call it. He wants you to help him get better.

They want you to help them solve their problems.

Without further ado.

  1. Work on your professional profile and learn Marketing notions:

Take time to have your professional image tools optimized.

Your linkedin, infojobs and other job search platforms and professional connections.

That's how I got my second job as a mediator.

In a family care center in the Community of Madrid that put an offer on infojobs, I think.

Pay attention because opportunities of this type may arise if you are attentive.

Take care of your resume or video resumes. Don't make the typical CV, make it difficult for the interviewer.

Has letters of recommendation. With good reviews of your previous works.

Make good emails to communicate with companies or collaborators.

Don't put the usual.

Show interest in what those people or companies do and show why you think you will add value to them and why they should listen to you.

Learn how to use these tools and don't do what everyone else does.

Get out of the ordinary.

Be visible to the eyes of others.

Take advantage of your strengths.

For that, having a personal brand is super powerful.

Social networks, a website, a podcast, a blog. Let them see you as a professional.

Work well on your personal brand.

For me, by investing time in this, in the first years they already called me to give talks.

And that, he had not done more than 10 mediations. And I was more afraid than anything else.

But hey, it's done. Even if it's with fear.

Luckily, over the years many more opportunities have arisen for me, in Family, in Family Businesses, mediations in multinational companies, training, collaborations with Universities... a little of everything.

For now, with these lines I think we have enough. So as not to overwhelm you more.

This Personal Brand thing goes a long way and so does Mediation.

And we talked about exactly this in the talk and in the video podcasts of Become a Mediator.

These and many other topics.

If you're left wanting more, here's the full talk:

And if you want to be part of the community, go ahead and subscribe.

Or you can contact me directly. Without fear.

Whatever you feel like,

We are in contact!

Until next time and good luck on your way,

Whether it is Mediation or another 😉

If you want to train in mediation, choose to enroll in the number 1 school in the mediation sector.

Leave a comment