BY NANCY TOTH, MA
Professional Development Manager
Have you been praised and appreciated for your wisdom lately?
I need volunteers for a job that pays very well — in
exactly that, praise and appreciation.
APEGGA’s initial mentoring program, designed to enhance
work-related soft skills such as teamwork and negotiating,
has many dozens of mentoring partners. We have a second mentoring
program too, which I’ll discuss later in this column.
Current mentoring partners in the initial program are generally
residents of the same city, although there are some successful
An Edmonton member is being mentored by a member in the
U.S. because the skill match is there and both parties were
interested. Even within the same city, partners often rely
heavily on e-mail, so these fellows don’t feel they
miss much. Regular business travel will bring the two together
for occasional meetings and there is always the telephone.
This view is shared by a pair of mentoring partners who
communicate between — believe it or not — Calgary
and the Middle East.
As with any program, the experience takes many forms. Some
pairs meet frequently and others simply e-mail.
Mentoring exists across the areas of specialization and
industries of practice, and certainly between the genders.
Also, mentoring goes on across the professions — we
have a few engineers mentoring geoscientists and vice versa.
We strongly encourage the use of written goals and objectives,
which our mentoring software prompts you to develop. Some
of the pairs have taken this step and others have been more
informal in their approach.
We have several pairs who have already met their goals, in
less than a year, and there will be those who sign up for
a second year. APEGGA members in the program find a great
deal of flexibility — there’s plenty of latitude
to customize the program to meet the protégé’s
There are some members who mentor in one skill area and
are protégés in another. A couple of members
actually mentor more than one person.
Mentoring for Employment
Now, let’s move on to our newest and second mentoring
We developed this one when it became apparent that a growing
number of both locally and internationally educated grads
are having difficulty finding work in their fields. The program
pool consists of unemployed protégés who require
coaching in resumé-writing, interviewing, networking
and other employment-related skills.
The program is new, and as it slowly grows in size, I find
there’s a lack of mentors for it. Fortunately, several
unmatched mentors from the first pool have agreed to make
New, locally educated grads generally have a member number,
the requirement for registration in the program. More internationally
educated grads need to be informed that they will receive
a member number prior to being licensed — in fact, they
will be given a number shortly after they apply.
Many internationally educated grads have years of experience
but need to adjust to the differences in culture, perhaps
in language and in some cases the differences in technical
terms, standards etc. A small number are able to enrol in
programs that assist them in these areas; however, many more
are waiting to benefit from your career advice.
These grads also need to know about local resources for
seminars and assistance in finding their first Canadian jobs.
included a seminar on networking in the recent slate of M.I.T.
seminars in Edmonton and Calgary. In October we also offered
brief evening seminars on resumé writing and interviewing
in Edmonton and Calgary. And we’re planning an employment
and career skills day for the spring.
Mentoring provides a gratifying opportunity for you to share
your knowledge – a chance to help someone like others
may have helped you when you were starting out.
Many thousands of baby boomers will soon be retiring. Whether
you are part of that group or the group left behind after
the exodus of so much expertise, it is in everyone’s
best interest to help groom the successors to those positions.
Contact Nancy Toth