Mentoring refers to a developmental relationship between a more experienced person to help a less experienced person (referred to as a protégé, apprentice, or mentee) develop in their career.
The Silicon Valley Chapter STC began its mentoring program in 1999. We developed the program in response to the many requests we were receiving from students, members, and practitioners in the local area for mentors within the local STC chapter. I hope to help other chapters meet their members' needs by describing how the Silicon Valley chapter established its program.
The mentor relationship has been called the 'pinnacle of work relationships.' A mentor is more than a peer, more than a coach, even more than a sponsor. Mentors typically have influence within the organization or community. They use this influence to empower their protègès. The mentor relationship is really a partnership--the mentor provides guidance and opportunities, the protègè provides energy and a fresh perspective.
The role of mentoring in career development is changing. This paper examines how and why these changes are happening and what management can do to encourage mentoring as an employee development technique. Mentoring provides career benefits as well as psychological benefits for both mentors and protégés, and can facilitate a working environment that encourages individual growth.
The Mentorship program organized by the STC India chapter 2009 has been quite an enriching experience. This is the first time that I volunteered for a mentor role. It contributed immensely to my professional growth as a mentor, and, most importantly, I am happy to be of some help to a fellow writer's success.
Aside from Writing Program Administration, the WPA journal, very little scholarly work about—or interest in—the topic of academic program administration has been manifested in the rhetoric-related disciplines. We believe that a mutual mentoring approach is an effective way to develop our community’s sense of the importance of program administration work as a scholarly endeavor in its own right.
Technical communicators represent one of the most mobile groups of professionals I'm aware of, with some sources claiming that the average time between changing jobs is as low as four years. This means that many of us will soon find ourselves in the position of working with newcomers, whether permant staff or 'temps,' and this means we may face the problem of how to mentor or supervise someone new to our workplace. This article discusses how to work with someone who already has the basic training, but is nonetheless naive in the ways of your particular organization.
Peer mentoring is a relationship between two individuals equal in abilities and qualifications that helps each develop or refine skills to navigate in the work environment. Peer mentoring is one of several different types of career development training including hierarchical mentoring, on-the-job training, and classroom instruction. Management can use peer mentor relationships to effectively and efficiently promote employee development and team-building.
Mentorships provide an opportunity for students and new professionals to increase their career awareness by interacting with experienced technical communicators. STC chapters can develop mentor programs that facilitate this important professional development activity.
Professional communicators today must often work with writing done by coworkers who have little or no formal writing training. This situation opens a long-term opportunity for professional development–from negotiating with management to developing tactful-buttruthful mentoring methods for the nonwriters. The mentor will develop skills in goal setting, curriculum development, and possibly even classroom-style teaching. This interactive workshop will lead participants through a 10-step process for becoming a successful writing skills mentor and give successful tips and techniques for evaluating and attacking writing problems. This workshop is an expanded version of the 90 minute workshop given last year to rave reviews.
Professional communicators today must often work with writing done by coworkers who have little or no formal writing training. This situation opens a long-term opportunity for professional development'from negotiating with management to developing tactful-but-truthful mentoring methods for the nonwriters. The mentor will develop skills in goal setting, curriculum development, and possibly even classroom-style teaching. This interactive workshop will lead participants through a 10-step process for becoming a successful writing skills mentor and give successful tips and techniques for evaluating and attacking writing problems.
The author’s company is continually looking for people to add to our professional staff of usability and documentation specialists. To overcome the challenges posed by geographically distributed offices, and to ensure new hires can become productive quickly, Tec-Ed takes a structured approach to screening, qualifying, and selecting new hires and then uses a hands-on, building-block approach to train them in our usability methodologies.
During your technical communication career, did you get help on a skill, instruction on a tool, or advice from an experienced professional? Think back and recall how fortunate you were to get that assistance and advice. Now, it's your turn to provide that assistance and advice to newcomers in our field.
The education of technical writers follows a vertical path, as discussed by panelists who represent three stops along that path. A new teacher of technical writing discusses moving from teaching basic writing to teaching more experienced and critical students. A professor who is in charge of new teachers discusses how he helps them meet the needs of students who demand more from their teachers. A mentor from industry discusses how she guides college graduates through the transition to professional writer and helps experienced writers continue their education on the job.
While it is obvious that a trainee technical editor needs to learn editorial skills and techniques, it is less obvious but not less important for the trainee to acquire certain attitudes in and toward his or her work as an editor. Viewpoints and work patterns that characterize experienced editors provide a basis for concepts appropriate to training a novice editor. They also provide a basis for comparing changes, over time, in what a technical editor needs to know, and how those needs have been affected by developments in the job context of technical editors over the past 30 years.
This paper presents the results of a survey of leaders in a variety of occupations concerning their mentoring experiences as proteges. Proteges primarily sought friendship and support, guidance and advice, and increased self-confidence and self-esteem, followed by job-related skills and professional insights. In general, proteges learned or got these things, although many also noted learning 'people management' skills. Direct, one-on-one discussions were used most often to communicate, while observation of role modeling ranked high for learning. Integrity and honesty were the most highly sought characteristics in a mentor, followed by willingness and ability to mentor, and then by interpersonal skills.
Can you think of a mentor who has helped you in your professional career? Can you remember the suggestions they shared with you and how much it helped in your job? Most of us can remember several key individuals who helped guide us in our job requirements and career aspirations.
This paper provides discussion and recommendations for designing and implementing an internship program for undergraduate students majoring in the computer science and/or information technology arenas. These same techniques can also be used to acclimate new hires to the technological environment within your company. The paper uses the internship program used by IBM’s Disbursements Application Support area (i.e., payroll and travel) as a reference and also discusses the importance of having enterprise-wide support in supporting interns and new hires. Throughout this paper, “intern” and “new hire” can be used interchangeably. Topics discussed in this paper include 1) Campus interviewing, 2) Assignment of technical mentors, and 3) Sample code for selected applications.
We are all mentors to someone at some point in our lives. And interestingly, we may not even know it at the time. I was quite surprised one sunny day to be introduced by an IABC colleague as "her mentor" when we encountered one of her co-workers as we left a restaurant.
In September 2014, STC Carolina launched the STC Carolina Mentoring Program and Mentoring Database, where professionals can connect to establish mentor/mentee relationships that foster personal and professional growth.
The Unisys Mission Viejo facility and the Capistrano Valley High School, both in Mission Viejo, California, were able to achieve a mutually beneficial partnership when an English teacher (Anthony Pastizzo) with an unusual perspective on learning and a Product Information manager (David Robinson) with a strong commitment to education got together. Mr. Pastizzo's summer internship in the Unisys Product Information department led to high school student internships in many departments. Other positive results may also follow. The internships also produced some unexpected positive results within the Unisys facility.
Because the workplace is a different kind of discourse community than the classroom, young professionals are unprepared for such workplace realities as the required use of a bureaucratic style, fragmented and reiterative research and review, and a lack of clear direction. Organizations should explicitly address these training needs through providing effective writing examples, writing-focused orientation, and mentoring in communications.
Mentored teaching experience helps, especially in composition, business and technical writing, and introductory courses of the kind junior faculty members at small schools are typically required to teach.