Why Mentor?

Submitted 4 years ago by Dan Trepanier 

An evolving collection of quotes related to the question....  Why Mentor? 

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We asked a group of leaders why they mentor and here's what some of them said.....

  • An opportunity to share your knowledge, experience, successes and lessons learned
  • Gain experience in supervising and coaching
  • Get some help with your workload and reduce stress while you share your knowledge
  • To learn more about yourself through each experience

'Initially my objective was to get help with my work load while teaching someone skills they could use in career development.'

'I also wanted to gain experience in supervising others in order to move forward in my own career.'

'I have always enjoyed teaching others and in being part of a team, working with others to meet common goals. At one time I had the energy and time to volunteer in the community but found after a while I couldn’t manage volunteer work between the time I spent at work and the time I needed to spend with my family. Mentoring in my workplace would allow me to give something to someone in my community while remaining within my workplace. What I soon discovered was that the mentoring experience was far more rewarding to me than I imagined. I discovered through this process that I had a passion for teaching and the satisfaction I felt from watching these young people gain confidence, take on challenges and succeed in doing things they had never imagined was simply amazing. What I didn’t expect was how much they taught and inspired me.'

  • Teach from your experience, share how you have overcome challenges
  • Give opportunity for both internal and external training - Software courses, typing software, online courses, assertiveness training, business writing or language training
  • Assignments or job shadowing in other areas allows the exploration of additional career options
  • Resume writing for the Public Service - Explain the differences between requirements for private and public service and walk your intern through a job posting and statement of merit criteria

We can only teach what we know.  Someone of the simplest things we learn along the way are the greatest sources of knowledge to share.  The truth is the most valuable things I have been able to learn and share have come from my son….he’s been teaching me for years. Still we have to acknowledge that we can’t do it all, we still have a workload to deal with and we don’t know everything.  Tapping into other resources is a way to help your intern acquire the knowledge you can’t give them.  Send them on courses to improve their skills, encourage continuous learning through online courses and available workshops.  Suggest job shadowing in other areas or trying a short term assignments  in other divisions. This has proved a great tool for my interns near the end of their assignments, it’s a way of taking the training wheels off and allowing them to try a new position in a comfortable environment.  

Originally written by Paige Gilmore from Environment Canada and adapded for the YMCA of Greater Toronto