Mentorship is a proven approach to advancing in one’s career, particularly for those new in their field or place of employment. Mentorship goes beyond training and education by helping newcomers navigate through the sometimes confusing or complex situations they can face. Mentors and mentorees can be of any age or in stage in their career.
Mentors benefit by giving back to the field, enjoying the satisfaction and impact of sharing their knowledge and experience, expanding their networks, and learning new things from their mentorees, to name a few. Mentorees benefit from new perspectives on their work, expanding their networks, gaining a sounding board for ideas and projects, and increasing their sense of self-worth.
SSP offers a number of formal and informal opportunities for mentors and mentorees alike.
Fellowship Program: The recently expanded Travel Grant program, now the Fellowship Program, offers year-round mentorship, along with other benefits. Mentors who are assigned to grantees offer their guidance beyond just the mentoring role during the Annual Meeting.
Committee work: SSP encourages all members to become involved on committees, not only to learn more about the Society’s inner workings but also to gain knowledge and perspective from other committee members. Committee chairs often serve as mentors as well as leaders.
SSP events: The Annual Meeting, seminars, and regional gatherings enable face-to-face networking and opportunities for potential mentors and mentorees to connect.
Shadow Day: Shadowing a professional offers many benefits for students, those early in their career, or anyone contemplating a change of career. The “shadowee” accompanies the professional through the course of a day to observe and learn about job roles and responsibilities, teamwork, and more. The first informal Shadow Day occurred in early 2016 with SSP member Byron Laws of KiwiTech LLC shadowing Jean Shipman, Director, Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library. Read Byron’s report of that day. SSP is exploring additional Shadow Days.
Check out these organizations and their publications and resources pages:
European Mentoring and Coaching Council
International Mentoring Association
National Mentoring Resource Center
University of New Mexico Mentoring Institute