“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” —Phil Collins
One of the pieces of advice we often give to our clients, and that you’ll find sprinkled liberally about the web when you’re looking for work, is to get yourself a mentor if you can. And it’s good advice. Mentors can really help us figure out who we are, what we need to do, and what we’re capable of. Mentors can guide you, teach you what to do and what not to do, and they can introduce you to other people who can give you a little nudge along your path. Luke Skywalker never would have been able to destroy the first Death Star without the guidance of Obi Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker would never have been able to become a Sith Lord without the subtle guidance of Palapatine, and Harry Potter would never have been able to defeat Voldemort without the incredibly elaborate machinations of Dumbledore. Buffy had Giles. Arthur had Maerlyn. Diana/Wonder Woman had Antiope and Hippolyta. Jean Grey had Professor Xavier.
And on the flip side? Queen Elsa had no one to help her, and she nearly destroyed her kingdom. Mentors are important.
However, in order for someone to get a mentor, someone else has to be a mentor. Can you be that person?
Do you have advice to give? Do you have experiences to share? Are you looking to give someone a hand up? But more than that, do you want to make a new connection and possibly a friend? Do you want to build your own network by adding someone to it? Are you looking to find the next big thing? Could you maybe use the little boost of confidence that comes from being considered, dare I say, an expert? Being a mentor can offer so much to both people in the relationship; the best kinds of any relationship are mutually beneficial.
There are so many ways you can flex your mentorship muscles, even if you don’t think you have someone who needs your assist. You can share your advice in a blog or on a social media platform. Some people who are looking for a mentor simply follow experts and thinkers on Twitter and LinkedIn. It’s a kind of mentorship-by-proxy. If you have time, but don’t know anyone, there are lots of ways to be connected to people who need a little help. If you’re a member of a professional or volunteer organisation, you can start there. There is also a really great organization that is just down the hall from me that can get you started.
The Immploy Mentorship Program brings newcomers to Canada together with volunteer mentors at regional companies. It’s a great way to actively demonstrate the idea that Canada is a place that welcomes newcomers. What happens is that volunteers are matched with a newcomer in their field, and those two meet one-on-one to discuss career development, the job market, training and networking opportunities, and professional requirements. The programs typically last four months, and Immploy provides support to both parties during the mentorship.
Immploy offers group mentoring sessions, too. A few mentors will meet a few times a year with about three times as many mentees. The mentors also occasionally meet separately. These relationships are less time consuming, but are still incredibly helpful to the people who need to hear from those who have come before.
Immploy also offers peer-to-peer mentorship as well. Are you a newcomer to Canada who has had some success? Want to give someone the same opportunity you got? You have experiences that may help someone navigate their new home the way you did.
Mentorship is an incredibly rewarding experience. We’re hardwired to enjoy this sort of thing. It’s why people become parents, teachers, and priests. Get in touch with Immploy today, and become a mentor. You’ll be glad you did.