Stages of Implementation for the Mentoring Plus Knowledge Exchange
A. Exploring the Future of Work
During this stage, mentees will have an opportunity to hear from several mentors on a variety of career paths. This stage of the process will provide a general overview of the careers being explored with the mentors. Opportunities will be provided so mentors from various career paths, can discuss common areas of knowledge and skills that overlap different career paths. In addition, topics such as career possibility by geographic area, impact of COVID-19 and other factors will be explored.
The Mentoring Plus Strategy addresses the population age range 16 and over. Within this age range, there are many populations at various stages of life, exploring work and career possibilities, The Mentoring Plus Strategy provides a first step for any particular population by asking them to identify from a list of careers, their own knowledge and interest, or other suggestions they would like to explore. Depending upon the size of the group involved, it could range for example from 2 -3 to 8 – 10 career explorations.
Based upon the information provided retirees will be identified who have experience within the career paths being explored. Knowledge Exchange sessions will be designed, keeping in mind, for example, the size of the group, time allocation, location of the event and other factors are to be considered. In addition, if a group is large, i.e. Grade 12’s consisting of 200 students or a university program of 150 students, a number of Knowledge Exchanges (KE) can be offered with groups of 30 for example. In addition, an individual can take part in several KE, as they explore their interests.
B. Focusing on a Career Path
During this stage, the mentees will have an opportunity to focus on up to 3 career path areas. The mentors will provide past, present, and future projections. Current position research, websites and current information on the sector will be provided.
As mentees complete Stage A – Exploring the Future of Work, and become more focused, they will be directed to participate in Stage B – Focusing on a Career Path. By selecting up to 3 career choices the mentors and mentees will have more time to focus on a variety of aspects of each career path. In this stage, the mentors will have completed a workshop that will provide them with an opportunity to provide detailed information about their sector, education requirements, ongoing learning needs, employment potential plus other topics critical to be successful.
C. Experiential Learning / Work
The Mentoring Plus Strategy may lead to an Experiential Learning opportunity, such as a work experience, coop education etc. A group of mentors can be assigned to the mentee for support and additional development.
Over the past few decades, we have seen the importance of a “hands-on experience” becoming an integral part of learning. In many cases, the various populations involved in Mentoring Plus will be involved in summer jobs, work experience models throughout the year, and other forms of career exposure. As mentees proceed through stages A and B and arrive at C, the Mentoring Plus Strategy can be an ongoing support as the mentees receive a firsthand experience in their chosen field(s).
Mentors can be assigned to one or a small group of mentees to meet on a regular or as-needed basis, over coffee or lunch. This will provide the mentee with an opportunity to discuss their work situation, while at the same time receiving additional knowledge from the mentor.
D. Further Learning Opportunities
“Learning a Living” is the way of the future, as we move into a Knowledge Economy. As a mentee defines their career path, there will be a need to create a Learning Plan that may or may not include traditional learning opportunities. Various models will be explored, depending upon the situation so the mentee benefits from a Learning Plan that is flexible and relevant.
Knowledge is infinite. As we go forward, we will explore the many learning models and resources that are available related to the specific career. We will explore traditional and non-traditional relevant learning opportunities that support the goals of The Mentoring Plus Strategy.
E. Towards a Sustainable Livelihood
Throughout the various stages listed above, there will be overarching topics that will intersect with all approaches including salary ranges, 21st Century Skills, communication, learning how to work as a team, market skills etc., and the role technology plays in the world of work.
Through the implementation of the Knowledge Exchange process, several topics may arise that are not addressed in various sessions. To ensure that they are covered we will provide topic-specific workshops lead by retirees/mentors where possible. These topics will support individuals as they progress Towards a Sustainable Livelihood.