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Founder/President, Black Rhino Partners

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What are your thoughts on creating a community for mentors/menteers and for adults to make professional connections to encourage growth.

Founding a non-profit called 1Helping1 focused on creating local communities for interested adults to make mentor/mentee connections and other professional relationships focused on leadership devleopment, professional growth and mutually beneficial relationships. Particular focus will be for the growing number of folks who find themselves in "career transition" and need help to get a fresh start, find their way, etc.

Questions:

1) Is this a real need in your circle of ifluence or community?
2) Are there other communities/organizations already focused on this issue?
3) Would you be willing to participate?

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    Dec 6 2012: Here is one in your state, and other states, that happens to focus on high school students. The mentoring programs with which I am familiar are aimed mostly at youth rather than people in career transition.

    http://www.acementor.org/598

    And here is a report from the Casey foundation on mentoring programs for formerly incarcerated adults:
    http://www.aecf.org/~/media/Pubs/Other/M/MentoringFormerlyIncarceratedAdultsInsightsfr/PPVincarceratedadults.pdf
    And, of course, mentoring of new employees in the workplace by existing employees is typical in workplaces, as new employees are hired with the understanding, usually, that there will be a lot to learn on the job.
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    Dec 10 2012: Bryan, how would what you have in mind differ from other mentor organizations (http://tinyurl.com/aubk7ye)?
  • Dec 9 2012: 1)Yes
    2) Yes, but they are discrete. Might be some advantage to creating a mentor network of professional organizations all joined by mentorship.
    3) I already do to the extent i am able.
  • Dec 6 2012: Fritzie,

    Thanks for the feedback and ideas. Definitely in the data collection mode to see if this is a worth while effort. I appreciate your comments.

    Bryan
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      Dec 6 2012: It is clearly something that should benefit those in transition, if the mentor and mentee are well matched.There is research online on the point, though a caveat I have seen is that mentoring is typically part of a package of efforts the unemployed person is undertaking, so the impact of mentoring alone cannot be measured- if the unemployed person were mentored but pursued no other services.

      Mentoring will not, I think, compensate, for not having the particular skills a new career may require but can include guidance in how or where to acquire those skills.

      Mentoring is also not the same as serving as a "connection" to employment. In a weak employment environment, that would be a lot to expect. It probably doesn't substitute for professional counseling either.

      Both parties to the mentoring relationship should understand what they should expect from the other and what will be demanded of them. If the mentee expects the mentor to teach the mentee all he needs to know and to provide him an inside track to a job, that probably goes beyond what a mentor would want to commit himself to do.

      But I think people often are very generous in offering advice and direction. I work every week with some very inspiring adults in career transition.
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    Dec 6 2012: Let me add that a possible challenge in building such a program is that anyone who wants to mentor someone very likely has an easy time already finding opportunities. For example, a person can go to one of the big online sites that match volunteers to opportunities, like VolunteerMatch, and mentoring is one of their big classifications of opportunities. For example, I just visited there and found that Mercy Corps has a program of matching people with successful business experience to business people who seek mentors.

    I wonder how many people are out there who are interested in mentoring people in career transition but cannot find an interested mentee. I think there are vast numbers of people who would love to have mentors and do not have them- many times the number of mentors who cannot find someone to mentor. And I suspect those interested in mentoring might favor youth or after that specific disadvantaged populations before those who find themselves in career transition. It would likely take a survey to verify this.
    For adults seriously interested in retraining to close a skills gap between what they know and what openings tend to require, I am very impressed with the community college system. They have programs to train in various specialties, often in partnership with employers. They offer financial aid, career couseling, placement assistance, and so forth.
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    Dec 6 2012: There is need for this sort of mentorship and leadership initiative in communities. Some people are fortunate to come from good families and to have a strong support system.
    Some people don't; and they would benefit immensely from this sort of programme.
    • Dec 6 2012: Feyisayo,

      Thank you. I agree. I wonder every day how many people in transition or looking to improve their situation would benefit if they just had 1 willing person to help them get where they want to go. If my idea can help 1 person to grow, find a job, be more successful then it will be worth the effort.

      Bryan