Written by Jacqui Mills, Employment Specialist with Next-Steps Employment Centre – Don Mills
A mentor is an individual with expertise or experience, and who can help develop the career of a mentee. A job search mentor guides, advises, and helps develop the job search skills of the mentee. To find a mentor requires that you first clearly understand your needs, and what you are hoping to gain from the mentor relationship before you start looking. It is important to find the right mentor, select one who understands your challenges and can help you overcome them.
Having a mentor will help you:
- Gain practical advice and support during the job search and the next stage of your career.
- Learn from the experiences of others – insight into how your mentor got into the position they are in, what job search strategies worked for them and which ones didn’t work.
- Develop your job search and personal communication skills.
- Become empowered to make decisions to move forward and advance in your job search.
- Identify career goals and a sense of direction.
- Make new friends and grow your network with people who are in your industry.
- A mentor will be an independent voice you can bounce ideas off without fear.
- Keep mentor relationships professional – set and respect boundaries.
Why would someone want to be a Mentor?
- Gives them an opportunity to help others – to give back.
- Allows them an opportunity to feel like an expert, to share their knowledge and personal stories.
- Many companies encourage their staff to pursue mentoring others as part of their professional development.
Where can you find a Mentor?
- TDSB’s Newcomer Services connects Canadian newcomers with mentors who share in their cultural and employment background. Having faced similar hurdles, mentors can guide newcomers through the cultural and employment challenge.
- Counsellors – ask your Next-Steps Employment Centre Employment Advisor for advice.
- Volunteer organizations
- Industry leaders
- Speakers and members of industry association
- University, College or High School alumni groups
- Online: mentor websites, LinkedIn, Twitter
- Formal mentorship programs like TDSB’s Welcoming Communities)
- Youth group leaders
Remember that you don’t have to do it alone! Want to get some help with your job search? Check out our monthly calendars to see upcoming events and workshops, and register at one of our 7 GTA locations. From one-on-one sessions to group workshops, our knowledgeable staff can help with your job search needs. All services are FREE!