In November 2020, IABC Victoria launched the IABC Victoria Mentor Me pilot program.
IABC Victoria Mentor Me is all about providing value to members through an invaluable career benefit: mentoring. Best of all, it’s free to participate. Through this program, we aim to match IABC Victoria members (foundation level) mentees with IABC Victoria mentors (strategic adviser level).
This way, early-career communication professionals receive valuable advice, encouragement and guidance in a safe, supportive and non-judgmental space. And IABC Victoria’s more senior members get the chance to give back, and to tell the next generation of communication professionals what they wish someone had told them on starting out.
Important: to participate, you must be a current member of IABC. For information about joining IABC, visit our membership page.
What is mentoring?
Mentoring is the transmission of knowledge and support perceived by the recipient as relevant to professional development. Mentoring entails communication, during a sustained period, between a person perceived to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom or experience – the mentor − and a person who may have less – the mentee. Although we expect each will learn from the other.
The relationship between mentor and mentee is based on trust and confidentiality. The mentor offers a safe and confidential discussion environment to the mentee to discuss issues and explore solutions to challenges. This promotes trust, as well as offering the mentee a fresh perspective during discussions.
A mentor can offer insights into:
- the ways an organisation works
- how the informal networks operate
- what they think about the challenges and opportunities mentees encounter
- professional development opportunities
- ways the mentee can continue to develop their careers
Mentoring is a mutual relationship. The partnership should benefit both parties, e.g. the mentor supports the mentee in learning how to navigate difficult situations, and the mentee simultaneously shares their recent learnings or new ideas.
What mentoring is not
A mentor is not:
- a manager
- a coach
- a sponsor
- an advocate
- a counsellor
These are different roles and responsibilities and are outside the IABC Victoria Mentor Me program.
Why are we doing it?
The goal of the IABC Victoria Mentor Me program is to provide value to members in developing their careers and fostering professional relationships and in doing so, meet IABC’s strategic objectives of:
- advancing the profession
- developing strategic communication professionals
- creating connections between early-career practitioners (foundation level IABC members) and senior IABC members (strategic adviser level)
A bit more about the program
The IABC Victoria Mentor Me program is available to IABC members only − just in case you needed another reason to join!
No fees are payable to mentors and no fees are charged to mentees for participating in the program
Participants in the IABC Victoria Mentor Me program must uphold:
The agreement for mentoring is between mentor and mentee and all arrangements/activities/contact shall take place between mentor and mentee directly, with each party having equal responsibility for the success (or otherwise) of the mentoring arrangement.
The format and frequency for the mentoring relationship shall be determined between the mentor and mentee and may include any blend of virtual/face-to-face/intermediated communications (e.g. phone, email, physical meetings, events/group gatherings, closed social media groups, sharing of reading/reference materials, introductions to other communication professionals) but at least monthly contact is recommended.
Topics of discussion and exploration are to be determined jointly by the mentor and mentee and may include:
- Professional challenges
- Understanding career options and opportunities available within the profession e.g. different areas of focus, different sectors, different specialisations
- Professional development opportunities
- Credentialing opportunities
- Industry insights and developments
- Honing professional skills e.g. communication planning and evaluation
- Expectations and strategies around work-life balance
- Being sounding board
- Providing guidance for career development e.g. jobsearch tactics
Any financial expenses incurred (e.g. refreshments, consumables, transport, carparking) are the responsibility of borne by the mentor and mentee respectively and IABC Victoria is not liable for expenses incurred by participants in the program.
How to apply
- Application for the IABC Victoria Mentor Me program is by way of a simple form − you can download it here
- Simply complete and return to Christine Elmer, Chair of Student and Academic Liaison, IABC Victoria Board via email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Applications are due Friday 18 December 2020 to commence the mentoring program in early 2021
- Applications will be considered by one or more members of the IABC Victoria Board (including the Chair of Student and Academic Liaison) who will then conduct a matching exercise to pair mentors and mentees based on alignment of mutual goals, professional interests, expertise, experience and availability e.g. six-month or 12-month commitment
Applicants may be invited to an information session to provide an overview of the pilot program and set expectations.
Tell us what you think
Given that IABC Victoria Mentor Me is a pilot program designed to benefit our members, we will monitor its success carefully. A member of the IABC Victoria Board will check in with participants regularly, provide guidance if appropriate and make recommendations to the Board in relation to the development of the program.
As well as checking in, we may undertake some more formal research to monitor and refine the program. For example, we might ask participants to complete a survey, participate in a depth interview or invite you to as focus group discussion.
Help us tell others
Participants in the IABC Victoria Mentor Me program may be contacted for the purpose of a case study, promotion or inclusion in IABC Victoria’s annual report.