The Power of Mentoring: The Joshua Story
Written By: Jerry Caingcoy, CRIEC Mentor
The best text to get from your mentee: “Good morning my great mentor. I’m glad to inform you that I got an offer … Thank you for your help and support all the way sir.”
Mentor and Mentee: Jerry and Joshua
I met Joshua just a couple of months after he landed in Calgary with his very young family through the Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council (CRIEC) mentoring program for foreign-trained professionals.
Joshua came to Calgary not in the best of times. The economy had plummeted to its lowest level in history; thousands of people including the locals were out of jobs and the effects of recession had forced so many companies to shut down.
Back in Nigeria
Prior to coming to Canada, Joshua had been a Corporate Accountant in large companies in Nigeria. He had lots of transferrable skills but to make both ends meet, he worked a transitional job during the night so he could concentrate on finding a job during the day that suited his qualifications.
CRIEC Mentoring Program
Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council (CRIEC) is a non-profit organization that provides a free mentoring program for internationally trained professionals by matching them with a mentor who is trained and experienced in the same field of expertise.
When a mentee and mentor are matched in a partnership they receive a CRIEC mentoring manual that helps both the mentor and mentee organize and prepare their meetings. It makes the
mentoring process more efficient and effective with successful employment outcomes.
Joshua is the third internationally trained professional that I have had the privilege of successfully mentoring in the last couple of years through CRIEC. As a mentor, my role was to help Joshua understand the Canadian workplace culture, explore job searches and networking opportunities.
As a mentee, the manual had given Joshua a road map to navigate through the tricky and challenging journey of finding the right career for him.
Joshua came prepared during our first meeting with so much excitement. As I listened to his story, common to many immigrants there was no doubt Joshua was highly educated with lots of experience in his field. Every meeting became more meaningful and valuable for both of us. Joshua showed so much enthusiasm and willingness to learn every time we met. He faithfully studied our mentoring modules, put them into practice and worked on any given assignment diligently.
As a mentor, it inspired me to make our mentoring relationship a great success due to his one of a kind dedication and determination to learn and develop new skills to prepare to work in a Canadian workplace. Building a culture of integrity, accountability and trust while focusing on direct, practical steps were the key factors to the success of our mentoring relationship.
But then again, the recession was getting worse and worse during this time. The job vacancies were almost nil. Despite the looming job market we continued on a regular basis with our mentoring program. We devoted a lot of time in preparing a Canadian resume, learning targeted selection strategies, conducting mock interviews, developing soft skills and sharing both practical life and work experiences.
After a couple of months, I received a heartwarming text from him:
“Good morning my great mentor. I’m glad to inform you that I got an offer from CRA from that pool I had been since June. It’s an Appeal Officer position. Thank you for your help and support all the way sir.”