Young Water Professionals mentoring program

In direct response to concerns that the Australian water industry would face serious labour shortages in the medium to long term future, the concept of an industry wide mentoring program was initiated by the YWP Network. It is hoped that this program will not only help with the retention of graduates but also of those members that are still finding their feet in the industry.

Mentoring has been identified as an important influence in professional development and as an effective way to develop skills via the transfer of knowledge from an experienced senior member to a less experienced member.  The mentoring relationship can strengthen competencies needed to enhance job performance and career prospects. It is based on encouragement, constructive comments, openness, mutual trust, respect and a willingness to learn new information, and can be a formal or informal relationship. The YWP Mentoring Program matches mentors and mentees based on participants preferences in a number of areas, and help initiate and facilitate an ongoing mentoring relationship. There will also be opportunity at the end of the program to discuss and celebrate the mentoring year.

Each year, the launch of the mentoring program will be held in the first half of the year and is open to all Australian Water Association members working in the Queensland Water Industry. The mentoring program will commence with an information and coaching session comprising presentations from current Australian Water Association members and team building/leadership specialists.

For senior members interested in becoming a mentor, this an opportunity to give something back to the water industry by sharing your professional knowledge, experience and skills. For younger members, this is a chance to understand your career aspirations and network with someone who can assist you in achieving your goals.   

If you are interested in becoming a mentor / mentee or would just like some more information about the program, email us at qldbranch@awa.asn.au.

Documents:

About the program

AWA mentoring guide (which includes mentor/mentee agreement)

Mentoring Tips 

Why are you in this?

1.     Clarify expectations.

2.     Determine the type and length of relationship.

3.     What are the personal goals that both parties would like to achieve?

Be prepared

1.     Set up regular meetings and over-schedule to take into account cancellations. Regular meetings can help to build trust and get to know each other more.

2.     Have an agenda so that both parties are prepared for the discussion. This also helps to keep the meetings within the allocated time.

3.     Determine the type of format you want the meetings to have.

Attitude

1.     Be flexible in terms of time and topics of discussion.

2.     Both parties need to be committed and prepared for the relationship to work.

3.     Have a positive attitude. Not everything will work but everything is worth a try.

4.     Mentees need to be engaged with mentor’s career. Show mutual interest.

Actions

1.     Keep an informal record of the discussion.

2.     Come up with a list of actions. This may not be limited to actions for mentees only.

3.     Record keeping will help prompt further discussion at later dates as well as to track the mentee’s progress in the career. It could also be useful for engineering chartership purposes.

4.     Both parties should be a link to each others’ networks.

5.     Do not be afraid to send out reminders.

Keeping it fresh

1.     Change the meeting venue every so often to keep things fresh.

2.     Meet at a relaxing environment, over a meal with drinks.

3.     Mix it up with discussions of personal interest to build common ground.

4.     Have a mixture of communication methods. We’re in the 21st century!