As virtual becomes the new normal, we’re leveraging a new tool in the ELN Facebook group that matches members who are interested in participating in online mentorship and facilitates digital meet-ups or chats.
Here’s how it works:
- Join the Group: Join by clicking ‘Mentorship’ in the left sidebar of the Emerging Leaders Network Group on Facebook. Note: You must be a group member to be part of this – if you’re not yet a member, you’ll be prompted to join the group first.
- Decide if you’re a mentor or a mentee: Members who feel they have the capacity to support the professional development of another member can self-identify as mentors. Alternatively, members who are seeking support and advice can self-identify as mentees.
- Tell us about yourself: Facebook will prompt you to fill out a short questionnaire to identify what you are looking to contribute or gain from mentorship. From there, you’ll get access to a list of potential matches. Select the people that you think you’ll learn the most from. Once both parties have approved the mentorship request, you will be connected in a private message to connect further.
While you may want to eventually take this mentorship offline, at this time we encourage matches to connect for online chats and virtual coffee meetings! Google Hangouts, Skype, Facetime, and Facebook Messenger are all free ways to connect through audio or video.
Learn more about how to use the tool here https://www.facebook.com/about/mentorship/.
Tips for success:
- Prior to engaging in mentorship, identify some clear objectives of how you hope to use the tool. You might be looking to connect with a mentor/mentee on specific topics that you are looking for support on or that you feel you can provide guidance on. Alternatively, you may just be interested in connecting with others to learn more about them. Some participants have used mentorship to learn more about others’ career trajectories, synergies between experiences and interests, and to engage in dialogue on topical civic issues.
- Follow the prompts and discussion questions that will appear in your Messenger chat with your mentor/mentee. Start by introducing yourself, your skills and experiences, and what you’re hoping to get out of mentorship and/or what you can provide.
Determine what method of virtual connection works best for you and your match. You could continue chatting on Facebook Messenger, switch to email, set-up a virtual coffee chat on Zoom, Google Meet, or Skype, or go full retro and pick up the phone for a call.
Be honest with your mentor/mentee about your capacity. You might want to provide or seek ongoing support on a variety of topics, or you might have a specific ask that only requires a one-time meeting.
Since launching this tool in March, we’ve heard from rising leaders about how they’ve used it to connect with new faces, share their thoughts and ideas, and learn new skills. Here’s what some of them had to say:
ELN’s mentorship tool has been a great way to build connections during the era of social distancing. I have already grabbed virtual coffee with three individuals (and one more on the way), through the platform. This tool allows members to maintain a sense of affinity to the ELN by getting to know each other, share our passions, discuss civic issues, and identify collective areas of interest.Lana Majid, Senior Associate, Boston Consulting Group.
Through this tool I had two insightful virtual conversations, where we discussed community development, careers in municipal government, and how to get involved in city-building initiatives in Toronto. Both conversations have helped me consider potential career paths I would like to pursue after completing my Master in Public Policy.Stephanie Bertolo, Master of Public Policy Candidate
We want to hear how you’re connecting with #ELNonline: Mentorship!
Send us a screenshot of your virtual coffee chat, or a statement about how you’ve been using the tool, to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you a $10 Tim Hortons gift card to fuel your next meet-up (while supplies last).