Mentorship: Worth the Effort

by Janice - 2 Comment(s)

Calgary career development professional Brian Lambier of Career Vitality Services Inc. answers our questions about mentorship, its importance and mentorship opportunities.

Come join us on Friday, January 20 from 11:45 to 1:00 on the Third Floor of the Central Library for Brian's program: Mentorship: Outside the Box. Brian Lambier of Career Vitality Services

1. Job searchers need to be aware that while mentors can help develop your career, their role is not to find you a job. In your experience, what are the most useful skills that mentors can help develop?

People believe that they have to be connected to an organization first to take advantage of a mentorship relationship. I believe that the individual must first truly understand who they are before they explore mentorship. What I mean by this is that it is important they have a clear understanding of their values, skills, abilities, interests and career desires. From that they need to be able to set a career direction and some concrete goals with a series of baby steps to reach those goals. This is where the career development professional comes in; it is their job to help people gain a broader understanding of their own individual footprint or foundation.

Mentoring is the process in which successful individuals (mentor) will help others establish goals and develop the skills to reach their goals.

Mentoring can help you acquire skills, increase confidence, widen your perspective, avoid errors, enhance your career and life, and help you succeed.

The type of skills that the mentor can help develop really depends on the type of mentorship relationship that exists between the mentor and mentee;

  • A Developmental mentorship relationship will see the mentor be able to offer the mentee develop new skills and abilities. The mentor acts as a guide and a resource for the mentee's growth.
  • A Sponsorship mentorship relationship occurs when mentor takes a close interest in the progress of the mentee and they influence others to support the mentees career advancement through providing them with opportunities. They in essence become a cheerleader and what I call the “doorman” opening doors of opportunities for the mentee.

2. Why do you think few Calgarians take advantage of mentoring opportunities?

This is a good question. I believe that many people take advantage of these opportunities. Immigrants and youth in particular have many opportunities to access these programs and do so through any number of social service organizations in the city. There are also many people in the corporate world that access programs through their organizations, professional organizations or institutions of higher learning.

I would agree that there are many people don’t take advantage of mentoring opportunities. I believe this is for many of the same reasons people do not engage the services of a career coach:

  • Many people don’t really understand the value of what a mentor can provide to them both personally and professionally
  • Many people have not done the work to have a clear understanding of who they are and where they want to go so they are not motivated to ask for help
  • Many people don’t set personal or career goals
  • Many people do not truly understand the goals of the organization where they work, how their role fits into the company goals and the internal avenues they can access to develop a plan to meet their goals
  • Organizations may not have a commitment to sustain and grow their employees
  • Middle managers that are supervising employees may not have the skills or been given the latitude of responsibility to identify individuals within the organization to participate in such programs.
  • Mentoring opportunities are not always apparent unless you network connect, explore and dig for opportunities
  • Many individual’s hesitancy to make the commitment to the mentorship relationship and process
  • An individual’s fear of change or their feeling that they cannot change
  • Many people think they can do it themselves.

3. Are there programs in Calgary for those interested in mentoring opportunities? (We often have immigrant clients who are interested in doing so.)

The following is a list of some of the programs offered in Calgary by a variety of different organizations in the Calgary area. (This is certainly not an exhaustive list.)

  • U of C Graduate Students Association—the Career and Mentorship Program
    Helps graduate students attain their desired career goal—whether it's re-entering industry after graduation (as 70 per cent of grad students do) or continuing with academe. This program is free, and helps grad students make professional contacts by pairing students with a mentor in their field of interest.
  • Bow Valley College Mentoring Internationally Trained Professional
    A bridging program to fast track foreign-trained professionals into the Canadian workplace. United Way and Bow Valley College have entered into a partnership to offer a mentoring program for internationally educated professionals through the Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council (CRIEC). Internationally Educated professionals face a variety of obstacles when arriving in Canada. The information and guidance they receive can be critical to making decisions related to their career and skill development and finding meaningful employment. The goal of the mentoring program is to connect immigrant professionals with working professionals in a mentoring partnership.
  • Calgary Youth Mentoring Coalition
    Fifteen different Youth Serving organizations offering a variety of mentorship programs and services to youth through their individual organizations.
  • CIPS Alberta MentorNet
    Has partnered with MentorNet to bring an e-mentoring program to the membership, promoting mentorship relationships between college students (protégés) and IT professionals (mentors). Protégés gain invaluable career advice, encouragement and support, while professionals lend their expertise by helping to educate and inspire young professionals. Students are asked to fill out a profile specifying what they are looking for in a mentor, and then are matched in one-on-one email relationships with industry mentors who have relevant experience in the IT field. This one-on-one relationship takes approximately 15 minutes per week and is free to both the protégé and the mentor. The official e-mentoring relationship lasts approximately eight months.
  • Immigrant Services Calgary Integrated Women’s Mentorship Program
    The Integrated Women’s Mentorship Program links established professional women with new immigrant and refugee women to assist them in overcoming barriers to employment and help them realize their full potential in Canada as individuals and professionals. The program serves immigrant and refugee women who have the ability to effectively communicate in English but are experiencing difficulties looking for a professional job in Canada
  • The Project Management Institute Southern Alberta Chapter (PMI-SAC)
    Offers the Mentorship program to its membership each year. There are two intakes per-year: Fall (September) and Winter (January). This program is designed to provide you with guidance and advice on moving your career to the next level.
  • The Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council (CRIEC)
    In partnership with Calgary employers and CRIEC community partners, has recently embarked on an initiative to bring skilled immigrants and established professionals together in occupation-specific mentoring relations. The goal of the program is to help build inclusive workplaces and strengthen the ability of Calgary organizations to attract and retain talent.
  • University of Calgary Haskayne School of Business Mentoring Program
    This business school along with business partners in the community offers its students several mentoring programs including the Calgary Hotel Association Mentorship Program, the Enbridge Incorporated Undergraduate Mentorship Program, the MBA Mentorship Program and the Petroleum Land Management Mentorship Program. Each of these programs pairs students with experienced business personnel from the world of industry in the Calgary region.
  • The First Calgary Financial Mentorship Program with Theatre Junction
    Brings students together with mentors from Theatre Junction’s Company of Artists including actors, directors, technicians and designers for a unique look at what happens backstage. As part of the First Calgary Financial Mentorship Program, students have the opportunity to learn about creating their own original performance through an intensive workshop series, invitations to private rehearsals and backstage tours. Mentoring relationships will develop throughout the year and students will have a chance to speak one-on-one with Company artists and Theatre Junction staff about their profession.
  • Cybermentor
    An online mentoring program that matches girls aged 11 to 18 with professional women scientists and engineers or female students at Alberta universities who are studying science and engineering. The primary goal of the Cybermentor program is to expand girls’ knowledge of careers, opportunities and benefits that exist for women in science and engineering fields. The girls have the opportunity to communicate with mentors from diverse fields, expanding their options for potential career paths in the process. The second goal is to provide a motivation for girls to continue in their math and science studies through interaction with women role models who are studying and practicing in these fields.
  • Lilith Law Mentoring Program
    A one-on-one mentoring program designed to provide mentoring relationships between women lawyers and judges, and develop, retain and advance women lawyers through reciprocal learning, relationship building, and personal and professional development.
  • Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) Mentoring Young Entrepreneurs Program
    We know that young people have great business ideas and can benefit from a bit of help to make them a reality. In addition to our community partners, entrepreneur-in-residence and Online Business Resource Centre, CYBF provides mentoring from experienced business professionals to help set you apart from the competition while launching and growing your business.


Brian Lambier is the owner of Career Vitality Services Inc. in Calgary, Alberta and specializes in career and retirement transition coaching and corporate training. He can be reached at (403) 978-9134 or brian@careervitality.ca/. Brian has two upcoming programs at the Central Library: Friday, January 20 from 11:45 to 1:00 on the Third Floor of the Central Library for Brian's program: Mentorship: Outside the Box (Friday, January 20 from 11:45 to 1:00, Third Floor Central) and Champions of Learning 2012: the New Retirement (Saturday, March 24)

Thanks to the Centre for Newcomers for reminding us about other Calgary mentorship opportunity: The Peer Mentorship Program for Professionals at the Centre for Newcomers Application Deadline: Wednesday February 29th, 2012 Training for selected mentors: Saturday March 3rd, 2012 (10:00 am to 12:00 pm) Orientation and group matching for mentors and mentees: March 10th, 2012 (10:00 am to 1:00 pm) To apply: please contact Camilo at 403-569-3349 or c.torres@centrefornewcomers.ca This program is a partnership betwwen the Centre for Newcomers, the Association of Colombian-Canadian Professionals of alberta (ACCPA), the Chinese Professionals Entrepreneurs Association of Calgary (CPEAC), and the Nigerian Canadian Association of Calgary (NCAC) and started activities in September 2010.

Get Your International Qualifications Assessed

by Roberta - 1 Comment(s)

Say you are from Brazil and you need to know the equivalent degree in Canada for your geology degree back home. How do you go about getting your education assessed so Canadian employers have a better understanding of your qualifications? This is a common question at the Calgary Public Library, so we talked with Simran, a career practitioner with Bow Valley’s College’s Career Connection’s downtown office.

Who will benefit from an IQAS assessment?

This assessment tool analyzes international educational credentials and compares them to educational credentials in Canada. An IQAS assessment can help New Canadians with educational and employment goals, as it provides colleges and employers with an education summary in Canadian terms and uses the language needed for a Canadian resume. For example, an industrial designer from another country might be called a project design engineer in Canada. IQAS issues three types of assessments, listed here.

There is a $100 fee for the basic IQAS assessment. Is it true that clients of Bow Valley College Career Connection can have this fee waived?

Yes. Eligible Calgarians may register with Career Connections and request that their IQAS application fee be waived. Click here for a list of Career Connections offices in Calgary.

What if a new Canadian needs to know what courses they need to take to complete a Canadian high school diploma? Does IQAS provide this type of assessment?

Yes and IQAS can send a copy the assessment directly to colleges. But be aware that this assessment application requires planning and takes time, and that processing can take anywhere from two to three months. Click here for a list of the educational institutions using IQAS

Do universities also accept IQAS assessments?

As a rule, most universities have their own assessment departments. They ask that applicants submit their credentials for more detailed assessments that are often required for advanced degrees. Professional and industry association organizations, such as APEGGA, conduct their own assessments. Click here for more information on this subject.

What about professional designations?

Yes, IQAS can facilitate licensure for professions such as Certified General Accountants, along with some other professions in Canada. It’s important to call your professional association or check the IQAS site for more details.

What advice do you have for Calgarians considering an IQAS assessment?

First, IQAS only accepts information in English and French. If transcripts need to be translated, there are several organizations that can help, such as those listed here. Also, be aware that IQAS is only an assessment service and does not provide guidance or advice. Agencies such as Career Connection or Alberta Human Resources can provide further support and answer questions.

Note: The IQAS website has a list of frequently asked questions, along with an excellent video tutorial.

Alberta Human Resources also has a list of other organizations that can offer help with international education assessments. Click here for more information.

Hot Off the Press: December 2011

by Cher K - 0 Comment(s)

Fashion Design by Sue Jenkyn Jones

This book offers a thorough grounding in the principles of fashion design, describing the qualities and skills needed to become a fashion designer, examining the varied career opportunities available, and giving a balanced inside view of the fashion business today.

Cracking the New Job Market by R. William Holland

Everyone knows that safe jobs and lifelong careers are long gone. So why do most job seekers and employment experts cling to outdated tactics for landing a good position?

The Academic Job Search Handbook by Julia Miller Vick

For more than 15 years, this book has assisted job seekers in all academic disciplines in their search for faculty positions.

Starting & Running a Sandwich-Coffee Bar by Stephen Miller

A UK-based insider guide. Self-started sandwich bars are a huge growth industry in UK currently - this book is topical, up-to-date, thorough and extremely practical.

Finding Work in Alberta’s Energy Industry

by Janice - 0 Comment(s)

For those looking to work in Alberta’s energy industry, industry forecasts from organizations such as the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC) and The Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada show that there will be a shortage of skilled oil and rig workers in 2012.

The Petroleum HR Council created an excellent website devoted to helping those who want to find information on or a job in the industry: Careers in Oil + Gas.

Careers in Oil + Gas has sections listing job boards in the Petroleum Industry, tips and tools for job seekers and a Day in the Life section that features interviews and videos of people working in the industry.

The Petroleum HR Council has also worked with the industry to create the Petroleum Competency Program to help address industry HR issues. The following video clip from their site talks about how the program works with entry level workers:

Petroleum Competency Program
INFORMATION FOR ENTRY LEVEL WORKERS

http://www.petrohrsc.ca/council-projects/project-list/petroleum-competency-program/videos.aspx

For more information about the forecasted shortage of oil workers:

Oil worker shortage forecast to hamper 2012 drilling (CBC website)

Canadian Rig Worker Shortage Prevails, Despite Innovative Training (Rigzone)

Both Rigzone and the new CAODC Service Rig Website have information and job postings for oil and rig workers.


For more information about jobs and careers in the Energy Industry, the Alberta Learning Information Services (ALIS) Mining and Oil and Gas Extraction Industry ALIS Occupational Profiles and the Petroleum HR Council Occupational Profiles are a good place to start.

Please contact the Third Floor, Central Library at 403-260-2782 or busn@calgarypubliclibrary.com if you would like more information about jobs in the Oil and Gas Industry in Calgary or Alberta.

Which Sex is Better At Networking?

by Roberta - 0 Comment(s)

In one of her recent articles in the Globe and Mail, career management consultant Dr. Barbara Moses pondered this question and talked with colleagues:

The Networking Gender Gap, and How to Bridge It

Moses argues that women are better at networking and build community while they work the room, while men are more likely to get right to the point. Others argue that women are less willing to actively promote their skills and often don't commit enough time to the process. While opinions vary widely on the topic, networking is still the most effective way to discover job leads, make meaningful connections and share contacts with others.

The Calgary Public Library has books, dvds, E-books and online courses to help develop these skills and collect new ideas and strategies for your next opportunity to meet and connect. And don't forget about the Central Library's Thursday night Strategic Networking sessions, where you can drop in and hone your schmoozing skills.

The Networking Survival Guide by Diane Darling

Networking for People Who Hate Networking by Devora Jack

Resume Development with Bow Valley College

by Janice

"The purpose of your resumé is to get you an interview. A well-written, high impact resumé will help you stand out among other applicants." Alberta Work Search Online

A resume can make or break your job search. If you need help with your resume, there is still space in Tuesday's free Career Basics: Resume Development program at Shawnessey. This popular program will help you learn how to create a professional resume to put your best foot forward. Workshops are led by professional career practitioners from Bow Valley College's Career Connection.

Career Basics: Resume Development
Tuesday, November 29
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Shawnessey Library

Register online or by calling 403-260-2620

Hot Off the Press: November 2011

by Cher K - 0 Comment(s)

Going Pro : How to Make the Leap from Aspiring to Professional Photographer by Scott Bourne

You’ve got the gear, the training, and the technology. You’re ready to make the leap from aspiring to professional photographer. Now what?

Barron's Nursing School Entrance Exams by Corinne Grimes

A multi-part model exam plus many shorter tests in each of this book's chapters will give nursing school applicants orientation and preparation before they take an actual nursing school entrance exam.

Medical-Surgical Nursing by James Edward Keogh

This book contains 375 review questions with answers and concise explanations of all course concepts.

The Fashion Careers Guidebook by Julia Yates

The fashion industry is exciting and glamorous--but very tough to break into. That's all the more reason why ambitious young men and women who hope to succeed in that dynamic business take their first step to success by reading--and re-reading—this book.

MCAT : Medical College Admission Test by Jay Cutt

Completely revised and expanded, this book provides test takers with an in-depth, easy-to-use science review and a set of often-neglected but critical time-management strategies for test taking that cover reading comprehension, essay writing, and scientific problem solving.

Knock 'em Dead 2012 : The Ultimate Job Search Guide by Martin John Yate

For more than 25 years, bestselling author Yate has shown the way for millions of job seekers. Now readers can turn to him for a proven method to put their career on track.

Careers in Sport, Fitness, and Exercise by Shirl J. Hoffman

This book is your guide to landing your dream job in one of today's most exciting, popular, and fastest-growing industries!

The Big Book of Jobs

Whether you’ve recently earned a degree, decided to change careers, or re-entered the workforce after an extended absence, this is the guide you need to make the right decisions—the first time around.

Training and Employment in the Energy Industry

by Janice - 0 Comment(s)

Join us on Friday, November 18 on the Third Floor of the Central Library for a program on Training Opportunities and Employment Trends in the Energy Industry, including how to deal with the long-term labour shortage.

The program will be presented by Mr. Norbert Hollman, Manager of Business Operations in the MacPhail School of Energy at SAIT. Prior to joining SAIT, Mr. Hollman accumulated over 30 years of broadly-based experience in the Exploration and Production (E&P) and oilfield service sectors including domestic and international marketing, business development, operations, acquisitions and senior management.

Training Opportunities and Employment Trends in the Energy Industry
Friday, November 18
11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Third Floor, Central Library
616 Macleod Trail SE
Register online or call 403-260-2620

This program is part of the Career Development Speaker Series, a monthly, noon hour speaker series on a variety of topics of interest to Calgary's Career Practitioners presented in partnership with the Career Development Association of Alberta. Members of the public are welcome to attend these sessions, which are held on the Third Floor of the Central Library on the 3rd Friday of each month from 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The next session will be in January.

Mentorship: Outside the Box

Join certified career coach Brian Lambier as he defines and explores
mentorship and its role as a career development tool.
Friday, January 20, 2012

Registration starts December 19th

"You're Hired...Now What? An Immigrant's Guide to Success"

by Janice - 0 Comment(s)

"You're Hired...Now What? An Immigrant's Guide to Success in the Canadian Workplace" by Lynda Goldman is a thorough and comprehensive resource that offers newcomers practical tips and strategies on how to keep their job and succeed at it once hired. Many newcomers are not aware that they are about to enter a different business culture and will most likely encounter behaviours and habits that will surprise or puzzle them. This book provides them with information on the cultural differences in the Canadian workplace and thus increase their success at keeping their job.

I would highly recommend this book for people who work with newcomers and for employers who hire workers from diverse cultures. Besides offering tips and advice on the more overt business practices in Canada, such as the infamous firm handshake, the author put a considerable amount of effort into researching and sharing minute details of the types of situations newcomers may encounter in their new Canadian workplace environment. For example, she covers how to tip porters and bellhops at North American hotels when travelling. I would never have thought of covering this detail in my workshop to newcomers on managing the Canadian workplace! In another chapter, a newcomer is made aware of the different types of outfits to wear for different industry or business events. The author also does not hesitate to cover issues such as proper hygiene, office romance, religion practices and other sensitive topics.

Each chapter highlights a specific and interesting Canadian business concept. Although the language used in the book is more geared to native English speakers, the author thoughtfully includes a section in each chapter listing buzz words that may be foreign to newcomers. Did you know that according to the Oxford ESL Dictionary there is a difference in meaning between the sounds Uh-huh and Uh-uh? Each chapter concludes with a set of questions that could be used to generate discussions on the topics presented.

Newcomers new to the Canadian workplace face many challenges, but with the information provided in "You're Hired...Now What?" they will acquire the awareness of the differences in their new workplace and hopefully be prepared to better understand and deal with these differences. I congratulate Ms. Goldman on her foresight to write a book with information invaluable to newcomers and Canadian employers alike.

Lidia Bomba-Sorbo is a Career Practitioner for the Centre for Newcomers and has been volunteering for the Career Coaching program at the Central Library for several years. Lidia facilitates workshops for newcomers on e-job search tools training and Canadian workplace training with a focus on cultural differences as well as one-on-one interventions.

Job Search Boot Camp

by Roberta

On November 1st and 2nd, Calgary Public Library will take part in the upcoming Government of Alberta Job Search Boot Camps at the Holiday Inn South.

This event is an excellent opportunity for youth between 18 and 30 years of age to take part in some great, high energy, hands on activities to kick start a job search.

Interested? Register today...

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