The chapter's mentoring program pairs new technical communicators with senior communicators to discuss personnel issues, technical problems, or career direction. Protégés gain new insights and strategies for how to create solutions and propel their careers. Mentors develop valuable skills that can further their personal and professional development. Both parties learn when ideas and experiences are shared.
Jean Richardson, past-president of the Willamette Valley Chapter of STC, manages the Mentoring Program and can answer any questions you may have after reading the information provided below.
Read additional insights about mentoring benefits and opportunities from a WVC Galley author, If You Aren't Mentoring, You're Missing Out by Douglas Metcalfe-White.
How to become a mentor
Becoming an STC Mentor is easy! You need experience as a technical communicator and the desire to help a new writer. If you are interested in participating in the program, fill out the Application for Mentors. Enrollment is opened periodically throughout the program year. You should expect to hear from Jean via email or phone within 72 hours of submitting your form.
As a mentor, your first responsibility is to listen. Ask open-ended questions to gain more information and to get to the bottom of the issue or problem. Share examples and experiences with protégés. A successful mentoring partnership must have a two-way communication.Your role is to coach and guide.
Becoming a protégé — your responsibilities
As a protégé, there are some basic questions you'll want to ask yourself to see if you are, in fact, ready to consult with a mentor. In her book, The Mentoring Advantage: How to Help Your Career Soar to New Heights, Pam Grout suggests asking yourself the following questions:
If you answered "Yes" to most of these questions, you are a good candidate for the Mentoring Program. The next step is to determine what you want to get out of the mentor/protégé partnership. Do you need advice on a current problem or are you looking for a longer term relationship for ongoing career guidance? The type of mentor you are matched with will be different based on your goals for the relationship.
It's important, also, to understand what the mentoring program does not do. It is not an internship program. Mentors are not obligated, and often not focused on, collaborating with proteges on projects. Mentors can advise proteges about how to develop good portfolio samples and where to go to get those samples, but they are not in the position of securing employment for proteges. Mentors also do not typically provide tools training. There are training courses for that. The mentoring program tries to meet the needs that formal training courses generally are not able to.
If you are confused about whether the mentoring program is a good match for you needs, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your needs.
If you are interested in being a mentor, please fill out this form.
If you are interested in becoming a protégé, please contact Jean Richardson, WVC Mentoring Coordinator, email@example.com, regarding the next open enrollment time period.
For information about the mentoring program, email Jean Richardson.
by Huang and Lynch