I was wondering around in my head (my play on wandering..)- debating why firms do or do not provide a mentoring program for their administrative staff. Part of that internal conversation pondered whether some of the ‘super’ skills admins have- can only be obtained through years of work experience..
This topic has been around the block on many admin discussion boards- IAAP, OfficeArrow, ASAP, AdminSecret etc. In my personal experience, I know that many IAAP chapters sponsor a mentor program, that ASAP offers a mentoring match up and one of the major companies I worked for (Booz Allen Hamilton) also establishes a peer mentor program for admins when a new admin is hired.
What are the benefits to having a mentor?
Here’s what I think are the three best benefits from working with a mentor:
1) Saves you from recreating the wheel at work
2)The mentor can share some life/work experiences that you may not anticipate ever having to deal with in your job
3) Can be a great source for networking with other admins and supervisors
Mentoring is not the same as supervising. Mentoring can be beneficial to you at any age or at any point of your professional career if you are willing to listen and learn.
Sometimes mentorships don’t work out. Many new admins mistakenly can believe that their mentor should be their best friend…. Uh, not the same thing.
Mentors can best be described as a teacher who helps lessen the gradient of a learning curve.
Here are some web links as they relate to different types of mentoring and mentoring programs.
1.Michelle Obama announces White House mentoring program for girls
2. American Society of Adminsitrative Professionals
http://www.officearrow.com/forums then, type mentoring in search box
You have to be a registered member (free) to access this discussion board
4. American Business Women’s Association. http://www.abwa.org/
You can also reach out to your local chamber of commerce.
There are plenty of opportunities out there.
Now, have you considered being a mentor? You can reach out to a local Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) group or Boys/Girls Clubs..many public school systems are looking for partners or business folks to work with their students in middle-school or junior high about the skills needed in the workplace. I believe D.C. Public Schools may still have this program (though it may have been subjected to budget cuts.)
I’m sorry my thoughts on this are not more organized. I really wanted to get this blog out and share it. I’ll probably do a Part II- when I’ve time to gather and share more detailed information. For now.. I guess it’s just another career topic to ponder!
On a special note: I want to acknowledge all the clerks and adminstrative support staff that support the United States Armed Forces on this Veteran’s Day. You are unheralded, but your work is IMMENSELY important. Thank you for your service to our country. From one admin to another.. I say, Thank you. I appreciate your hard work.