It might be overwhelming to consider finding a mentor, especially if you are new to the field of indexing. Luckily, the Indexing Society of Canada has a mentoring program, so you don’t have to go through the process of finding your own. These tips aren’t just for the mentee! Having a mentoring program is mutually beneficial, and participation can lead to the following.
Benefits for a Mentor
- Gain experience in coaching and expand soft skills
- Developing new leaders
- Exposure to the concerns of new Indexers
- Satisfaction of contributing back to your profession
- Opportunity to grow your network
Benefits for a Mentee
- Obtain information and perspective about Indexing
- Receive feedback and professional support
- Gain clarification in career direction
- Have more job satisfaction.
- Develop a new professional support system
- Grow your network
Benefits for the organization
- Members understanding the organization better
- Higher membership retention rates and engagement
- Developing leaders
- Bridging the gap between old and new members
If you decided to become a mentor or mentee, be sure to get to know more about the Indexing Society and the person who you are paired with to achieve the best results. A mentoring relationship is more than a transaction of sharing knowledge to gain advancements. The program itself will have goals, but the mentor and mentee should establish their own. Having mutually agreed upon expectations helps foster the mentoring relationship.
Things mentees can do to foster great relationships:
- Before starting ask yourself questions like:
- What career goals would I like to achieve?
- What are the skills I want to develop?
- What type of organizational knowledge do I want to know?
- What new partnerships and alliances am I hoping to make?
- Be clear with yourself about why you want a mentoring relationship and talk to your mentor about it.
- Be open to the fact that one mentor may only be able be able to help you in some ways and not others. You may acquire different mentors for different things over the course of a career transition.
- Be open minded, reflective, and willing to change so you can take on the suggestions your mentor will make.
- Once you have started a mentoring relationship, be sure to be committed and work towards the goals you’ve discussed with your mentor.
- Take responsibility for your own development.
- Look for opportunities to give back, both to your mentor and to the community.
If you want to get in the mentee mindset, you can watch this TED Talk. It explores what it means to be mentorable.
Things mentors can do to foster great relationships:
- Think about some personal boundaries that you want to have with your mentee and initiate a mutual conversation about this.
- Be willing to provide timely and constructive feedback.
- Introduce your mentees to other people, help them grow their network.
- Be committed to the program, its goals, and the growth of the mentee.
- Celebrate the mentee’s wins!
- As you go through a mentoring cycle, make notes of things you think went well, and what didn’t, so you can adjust in the future, or provide feedback to the mentoring program.
Once parameters have been set and the mentoring program has begun, don’t forget that both the mentor and mentee should reflect during this period. Are you finding value in the relationship? Are goals being met? It may feel awkward to discuss this, but vulnerability allows for a better working relationship, and time to re-evaluate goals if needed. An ongoing, open and honest dialogue is important to the success of the mentoring relationship.
This content speaks to general trends found in research literature. It should not replace careful consideration of individual career situations, nor can they take the place of consultation with mental health professionals.
This document is an extract from the report Resources for Mid-Life Career Changers: Final Report and Web Content, for a research collaboration between the Indexing Society of Canada/Société canadienne d’indexation (ISC/SCI) and the King’s University (TKU) in Edmonton. Supervised, honors-equivalent psychology students conducted the research in partnership with the ISC/SCI as a capstone senior research project in their senior seminar. The ISC/SCI Executive committee collaborated with the King’s Community Engaged Research (CER) Program to initiate and design the project.
The CER Program at the King’s University facilitates university-community partnerships in which student-supervisor teams engage community partners in the design and implementation of research that addresses community-defined needs. For more information, please contact the Program Manager, Dr. Elim Ng (Elim.Ng@Kingsu.ca).
Black, V. (n.d.). No One is Talking to the Mentees | TED Talk. Retrieved February 4, 2023, from https://www.ted.com/talks/victoria_black_no_one_is_talking_to_the_mentees
Izmailova, S. (2021, September 24). The Complete Guide to Mentorship Programs for Membership Organizations. WildApricot. https://www.wildapricot.com/blog/donementorship-program
Self-Directed Mentoring Program | Future Leaders of Yale. (n.d.). Retrieved February 4, 2023, from https://fly.yale.edu/self-directed-mentoring-program