Many us will have had the privilege of having a colleague who has taken the time to be ‘interested’ in us and our career, and given us the time and space to talk and think about ourself and our career. They may have helped us think about where we are, where we want to be and how we might get there or helped us by just allowing us to mull over a problem in a non-judgemental fashion. That this has happened is often down to chance but not everyone has had that chance. The ASME Board wishes to take chance out of the equation and enable all those who feel that this could be useful to have an opportunity to have time with a colleague to do just this
We are using an adaption of Bozeman and Feeny’s definition of mentoring: ‘a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career, or professional development; mentoring entails informal communication, [often] face-to-face and during a … period of time, between a person who is perceived to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom, or experience (the mentor) and a person who is perceived to have less (the mentee)’. Bozeman and Feeney (2007).
Bluntly, people with ‘greater relevant knowledge, wisdom, or experience’ which is ‘relevant’ for the person being mentored. The ‘knowledge wisdom and experience’ of a near peer may be more relevant to a mentee than someone who reached the top of whichever ‘tree’ the mentee is considering. There are members in all sections of the membership who have much to share with colleagues. So, we are looking for mentors who fully represent the diversity of ASME’s membership in JASME and TASME, the SIGs, Committees and the Board from all academic, support and clinical backgrounds
The first commitment is to preparation for the task. We are offering live online interactive workshops, usually in April/May and September/October, as the core preparation for mentoring. This will be tailored to meet the needs of what is usually a highly diverse group of mentors. The training has been developed in consultation with the membership as has the ‘Mentor’s Handbook’ which some more experienced members may feel is sufficient as a ‘stand-alone’ resource. ‘Contact’ time between mentor and mentee will vary but while it should be regular, we do not expect that it would be frequent. We suggest that an initial meeting with a follow up a few months later and then 2 to 3 meetings a year, few of which would be longer than an hour. The length of the relationship will vary but many mentoring relationships have a natural ‘lifespan’ which becomes evident as the relationship matures. Different mentors have different ‘capacities’: it is for the mentor to decide whether to mentor a single mentee or several.
Firstly, personal development as a mentor. Secondly, the opportunity to ‘put something back’ and contribute to the development of others.
Finally, while the mentoring relationships often run their course, the professional relationships and friendships which often ensue are deep, long-lasting and can be mutually beneficial.
If you wish to discover more, or to register for our upcoming virtual Mentoring Course, visit our events page for more information.
Please Note: ASME’s mentoring programme is open to individual members of the Association. The Mentoring Programme is a benefit of Individual Membership. If you wish to join ASME as an Individual member you can do so here.
If you wish to be mentored, ASME is developing a database of mentors with whom you can apply for mentorship. If you are an active ASME member please ensure you are logged in first and visit our Mentor Database to meet our mentors and apply for mentoring.