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The APEGGA Mentoring Program Also Lets You Share Your Wealth of Knowledge and Experience

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 distant pairings.

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 needs.

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 pool.

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 themselves available.

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. APEGGA 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.

Visit www.apegga.org/mentor/index.html

Contact Nancy Toth
or 780-426-3990
Ext. 2811

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