Knowledge, confidence, career development, networking and guidance are just some of the benefits to be gained through ACC Australia’s Mentoring Program. If you're an ACC Australia member wanting to find out more about participants experience and the benefits and rewards they have reaped through their involvement click here to read the Mentoring Program Good News Story, published in the The Australian Corporate Lawyer ("The Journal"), December 2013.
What is mentoring? Mentoring is the process of empowering individuals by helping them capitalise on their personal and professional strengths, giving them support and guidance to challenge themselves and take risks, and helping them to find an appropriate and rewarding career path.
How do I apply? Simply complete the online application form from 1st February 2017.
Who can be a mentor? Experienced in-house lawyers with a strong interest in the development of others. This is a national program and you will be matched with someone within your State. To learn more about membership please click here.
What are the benefits for mentors?
Who can be a mentee? The Program is currently available to full members based in Australia. To learn more about ACC Australia membership please click here.
What are the benefits for mentees?
Who decides who will be admitted into the program? All full members are eligible to participate in the Program. The Program is limited to an annual intake of 50 pairs. Dependent upon demand and appropriate matchings, it may not always be possible to accommodate all applicants and a wait list is maintained in these circumstances.
How are the mentors and mentees matched? Karina Butera, ACC Australia Mentoring Program Coordinator, reviews all applications and oversees the matching process. Mentors will be matched to mentees drawn from outside their own organisation and industry sector. As an industry-wide program participants will only be matched where there is no obvious potential conflict of interest.
Is there a cost to be involved in the program? No the Program is complimentary for full members.
What is required of me? The time commitment is modest and typically involves eight to ten meetings over a 12 month period. Although the level of intensity is a decision for the mentor and mentee.
What is discussed during a typical mentoring session?
Who should initiate the catch ups?
It is the responsibility of the mentee to make the first contact with the mentor, and then to set times for future sessions. It is recommended to set meeting dates for the entire 12 months at the first session. Of course these may need rescheduling at a later date, but by having them in your calendar you will be more likely to keep your commitment to the mentoring process.
What if I don’t feel comfortable with my mentee/mentor?
It is likely that the first meeting with your mentee/mentor may be a little awkward or uncomfortable. If you are a mentor, take the lead and engage in an encouraging way to help alleviate any nervousness the mentee may be experiencing.
It may be that your discomfort is because of a difference in personality style or perspective. This is actually a positive sign – being drawn out of your comfort zone is what mentoring is about! Your mentor may challenge you to try different approaches or accept understandings that go against the theories you’ve been taught. Likewise, your mentee may have new learnings and ideas that conflict with the ‘tried and true’ you have worked with in the past. The conflicting personalities or views provide a great opportunity to broaden your thinking and gain a different perspective.
If you feel irretrievably dissatisfied with your mentoring partner, please contact your program facilitator to discuss options. Unfortunately we cannot necessarily switch your partner, but we will do the best to come to a positive outcome.
If my mentor doesn’t have experience in my industry, will the match be effective?
Industry experience is not necessary to broaden your understanding. Further, there may be conflict of interest (for example, working on competitor organisations) to being mentored by someone in your own industry. Your facilitator will have selected your mentor to the best of their ability based on your needs, experience of the mentor and mentor availability.
Do my mentoring sessions count towards CPD points?
Because of the informal nature of mentoring, it is difficult to make a case for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. However, you may attempt to claim your mentoring if you are able to demonstrate that the structure and learning comply with prescribed guidelines. Please refer to the Law Institute’s Continuing Professional Development Rules (2008).
Will my mentor assist me in finding a new job?
The purpose of mentoring is to allow you to build your knowledge and skillset from someone with more experience. Your mentor may help you to identify gaps in your experience/skills to improve to assist you gain a promotion or entry into another company/industry. They may also review your CV and provide suggestions. However, you must not expect them to seek out work for you in their own organisation or with contacts, and it would be inappropriate for you to ask them to assist you in the practicalities of job-hunting. They may suggest companies for you to approach; however, you are not to directly ask for introductions or for your mentor to circulate your CV for you.
What if I need to take a break from the program?
It is expected, as part of your partnership agreement that you are able to commit to regular meetings over the next 12 months. If you are a mentor and are unavailable for more than a two month period, we assume you would make extra time available for your mentee to ensure meaningful learning and results. If you are a mentee, whatever breaks you take throughout the program will be to your own professional development detriment. You cannot expect your mentor to take extra time if you have been out of contact without prior arrangement. When you develop your mentoring framework in your first session ensure you discuss your calendar and commitment to your role.
Will I get a certificate after completing the program?
At present we do not have the resources to provide certificates. However, your mentor may (at their discretion) be prepared to write you a short reference confirming you have participated in the mentoring program. Clearly they will be more inclined to write you a reference if they have found you to be willing, engaged and reliable throughout the program.