1. Why should I become a mentor?
As a mentor you will have the opportunity to:
- share valuable knowledge based on your own experience
- develop your coaching, communication and leadership skills
- work with people from other backgrounds and cultures
- improve your understanding of issues and barriers experienced by newcomers to Canada
- motivate and support someone to fulfill their potential
- help someone in your field put their skills and experience to work
2. How will I be helping my mentee?
As a mentor, you are helping your mentee by:
- providing occupation or industry specific counsel as a guide to successful job preparedness
- helping provide information on employment and/or educational opportunities within their chosen profession
- sharing your networks and professional contacts
- supporting your mentee to maintain self-confidence in a new society, workplace and culture
- helping them realize their full potential and contribute to society and the economy
3. What are the mentor’s responsibilities?
Mentors will be expected to:
- provide the mentoring program with details on their professional background and information needed for program delivery and matching purposes
- participate in a mentor orientation session (approximately 90 min.)
- work with the mentee to determine objectives for the mentoring relationship and set goals related to job search, networking, professional development, etc.
- communicate with the mentoring coach to report on the progress of the relationship and assist in program evaluation
- seek support from the coach for referral to resources, troubleshooting etc.
4. How long will I mentor for? How many hours a week are involved?
The time commitment is 24 hours during a four month span. This works out to approximately 1½ hours per week. The schedule of how this time is used can be worked out between the mentor and mentee to best suit their partnership goals and availability (see questions 10 and 11).
5. What kind of support will I receive during the mentoring relationship?
Prior to the start of the mentoring relationship, you can review our online handbook and take part in a mentor orientation session to learn more about your roles and responsibilities as a mentor.
Each matched pair is also supported by a mentoring coach based at a participating community organization. Their role is to assist you throughout the entire mentoring relationship and respond to your questions and concerns.
6. What is the role of the coach?
Mentoring coaches provide support and resources to mentors and mentees and track the outcomes of the relationships for at least one year after the partnership has ended. Coaches contact both mentors and mentees on a monthly basis to ensure that things are going smoothly in the mentoring partnership. This is a requirement to ensure the quality of the program. If there are issues in the relationship or any assistance required, mentors and mentees can let the coach know, and the coach can assist with troubleshooting or providing referrals.
7. Can I still register in The Mentoring Partnership program even if I’m too busy to mentor at this time?
Yes, you can register at any time to become a mentor in the program. If you would like to mentor at a later date, please indicate your preferred start date when you register. Also, when you are contacted by a mentoring coach to consider re-engaging in a match or at the end of your partnership, please let them know a date when you will be available to start a mentoring relationship.
8. On what basis are the matches made between mentors and mentees?
Matches between mentors and mentees are made solely based on shared occupation. The TMP MentorMatch IT System generates recommended matches, and the coach then consults the mentor and mentee to confirm the suitability of the match. If you do not feel that the match is appropriate, please ensure you communicate this feedback to the mentoring coach prior to being matched or as early as possible in the relationship.
9. Will I be involved in screening mentees?
Screening of mentees is done by service delivery partner organizations. The mentees’ first point of contact and entry to the program is through employment services or bridge programs at one of these organizations.
Mentees who are accepted into the program generally meet the following criteria:
- have lived in Canada for less than three years and have no significant prior Canadian work experience in their field
- have the English skills required to perform effectively in the workplace
- have at least three years of work experience outside of Canada in their area of expertise
- are eligible to work in Canada and are job ready
- are unemployed or underemployed – working for 20 hours or less a week
- have achieved at least a bachelor’s degree – or equivalent post-secondary education – from outside of Canada
10. Can I be matched with someone who does not share a similar occupation or industry?
Mentors and mentees can choose to identify a second occupation and/or industry to mentor/be mentored in if they have current or recent professional experience and networks in another occupational field. Choosing a second occupation increases the opportunities for matches to be made.
The program will always try to match you as closely as possible on your first occupation then, if there are no matches available, it will make a match based on your second occupation. Should you find the proposed mentee’s occupation and industry is not close enough to yours you can choose to not be matched. However there are some occupational fields and industries where we have a lower demand for mentors. As such we encourage you to be flexible when considering a proposed match with a mentee who is waiting for a mentor.
11. Can I mentor more than one mentee?
The Mentoring Partnership only matches mentors to one mentee at a time, to enable you to focus specifically on that partnership during the four month period. Due to the high demand for the program, each mentee is permitted to participate in The Mentoring Partnership program only once, so it is important that they can maximize their experience. We do however strongly encourage you to mentor again since we have many mentees waiting for this opportunity.
12. I’m nearing the end of my mentoring relationship. Can I mentor again?
It would be wonderful if you could assist another mentee. Repeat mentors bring the added value of learning and experience from their previous relationships. At the end of your mentoring relationship, your coach will ask you if you are able to mentor again. Even if you are not able to re-engage immediately following the relationship, you can indicate to your coach a date when you expect to be able to do it, and we can time your re-entry into the mentoring pool accordingly.
13. How will I be assigned a coach for my mentoring relationship?
Each mentee works with a coach at one of the service delivery partner locations to register for the program and then this coach stays in contact with the mentee throughout the program and follows-up with them for a year after the mentoring relationship comes to an end. Once you have been matched, the coach working with your mentee will also be your contact throughout the mentoring relationship.
14. How will I know if I’m doing a good job?
Open communication is the key to any good relationship. Throughout the mentoring relationship you should be speaking with your mentee about whether or not you are fulfilling the joint goals set out at the beginning of your partnership and clarify expectations based on your role as a mentor. Your coach will also ask you to provide feedback on your progress and experience throughout the mentoring relationship. If you are helping your mentee make progress on their job search, then your relationship is successful.
15. Who do I contact if I have any concerns or problems regarding my mentee?
Throughout the mentoring process, you should be speaking with your mentee about your shared progress in fulfilling the goals set at the beginning of the relationship. It is natural, however, that not all relationships will be perfect. If you are in a situation where you would like guidance or are experiencing conflict, please contact your coach immediately for advice and support. Likewise, if you feel that your mentee is not completely job-ready, your coach may be able to provide referrals to additional training or resources.
16. Do I meet with my mentee in person?
It is recommended that you meet in person, especially for the first few meetings. However, there will be times when on-line or phone communication will be more convenient and/or effective for both of you.
17. Where should I have meetings with my mentee?
Meeting locations are determined jointly by the mentor and mentee. Meetings may take place at the mentor’s office, a coffee shop or another mutually agreeable place close to a place of employment or near a person’s home. All meetings should take place at public place and not in a mentor or mentee’s home.