Mentors Can Fast-Track Your Success in Canada in 8 Ways
Mentors played a huge role in my successful integration and settlement story. They were my counselors, personal cheerleaders, and guardian angels.
In this post, I will share what is a mentor, my experiences with mentors, and ways that a mentor can help a newcomer. I will also share some resources that can help start your search for the right mentor.
What is a Mentor
The Insurance Institute defines a mentor as “a person who has professional and life experience and who voluntarily agrees to help a mentee develop skills, competencies, or goals. Put another way, a mentor is an advisor and role model who is willing to invest in the mentee’s personal growth and professional development.”
A mentor is different from a coach and a sponsor. A coach talks to you, a mentor talks with you, and a sponsor talks about your positive traits even when you are not around.
My Experiences with Mentors
I never really had a formal mentor before coming to Canada. So, it was a pleasant surprise for me to learn about mentorship opportunities.
As soon as I arrived, I got guidance from immigrant-serving organizations. Settlement workers shared their knowledge on labor market trends, resumes, and job search strategies. I diligently applied the recommended strategies and was rewarded with my first job in Canada.
Shortly after starting my career in Canada, I joined the Dress for Success Vancouver Professional Women’s Group. Mentors in the program offered their expertise to participants. At this point, my resume was already in tip-top shape with the help of previous mentors. However, my confidence was at rock bottom. Fortunately, our mentors were there to arm us not just with life and professional skills but with confidence as well.
In my career and volunteer work, I have met many amazing individuals whom I consider my mentors. They each played various roles in my life. For example, they guided me throughout my personal and career development. Also, they acted as a sounding board when I needed to solidify my ideas. At times, they were my accountability buddy. Above all, they were my sources of wisdom, calm, and support.
8 Ways that a Mentor Can Help A Newcomer
- Learn about Canadian culture
- Improve communication skills
- Boost confidence, accountability, and motivation
- Expand local professional network
- Create job search strategies
- Understand Canadian industry requirements and trends
- Develop key skills or competency
- Fast-track personal and career development
According to the Accenture report for the organization Allies, mentorship results in improved economic standing for skilled immigrants. This report states that there was a significant improvement in economic standing twelve months after skilled immigrants complete a mentoring program. Another key finding is that unemployment decreased from 73% to 19% while full-time earnings increased from $36, 905 to $59, 944. In addition, 71% of employed immigrants were employed in their field, and 47% held a position at their appropriate level. The report also reveals that immigrants who successfully complete mentorship programs gain employment faster than the average newcomer.
Therefore, there is no question that mentors contribute greatly to the success of skilled immigrants. I believe that this applies to all immigrants in general.
Mentorship Programs in Canada
Here are some organizations in Canada that offer mentorship programs. I have not had personal experience with these organizations except for Dress for Success and Success BC. But, this list can be your starting point to do your own research.
- AMP: Alberta Mentoring Partnership
- Alberta Mentorship Program
- Calgary Catholic Immigration Society
- Dress for Success Calgary and Alberta
- Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council
- Dress for Success Regina and Saskatoon
- International Women of Saskatoon
- Saskatchewan Intercultural Association Inc.
- Dress for Success Kingston, Orillia and Barrie, and Toronto
- Helping Newcomers Work
- Immploy Mentorship Programs
- Skills for Change
- Triec Mentoring Partnership
Newfoundland and Labrador
Mentors help immigrants accelerate their settlement, integration, and success in Canada.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of kind-hearted experts who are willing to lend a hand to immigrants in Canada. But, the best mentor and mentorship program would be the one that aligns with your values, goals, and learning style.
So, what are you waiting for? Find a mentor now.