Mentor Opportunities

StartNorth is looking for volunteer mentors to help support our members and programs.

We often hear the reasons people give for not becoming a mentor.  "I don’t have time".  "I don’t have the right skills".  "My personality isn’t suitable".  We all have more time, skills and insight than we think.  Before you pull out a reason to say “no”, consider first these eleven reasons to say “yes” to being a mentor. 

1.  Become a better leader
Learning how to work with people to whom you don’t have a natural connection, demonstrating patience with those in need of guidance and support, helping people figure out the best path forward: all trademarks of a great leader AND skills honed through mentoring.  The more you work at leadership on a one-to-one basis, the more you’ll improve in larger group settings. 

2.  Learn more about your company or profession
What do you actually know about the challenges, purpose and daily workload of other teams?  Mentoring is a great way to broaden your view and gain insight into what goes on in other areas.  This will equip you to make sounder, more holistic decisions. 

3.  Achieve personal career gains
Just in case you think that all this talk of leadership and learning is a soft sell, let’s dish up some hard facts.  Between 2010 and 2015 Sun Microsystems studied the career progress of over 1,000 employees.  People who had acted as mentors were SIX TIMES more likely to be promoted than those who didn’t, and 20% more likely to get a raise.  Still think mentoring is a fluffy, feel-good thing to do? 

4.  Shape the leaders of tomorrow
Most of us long for a legacy, some stake in the future that says, “I was here.” What better legacy than to be a part of shaping tomorrow’s leaders? 

5.  Gain new perspectives and fresh ideas
Mentoring is a unique opportunity to step outside your usual circle of friends and social media’s echo chamber to gain an intimate understanding of how the world looks through someone else’s eyes.  New perspectives lead to fresh ideas, and who knows where fresh ideas could guide you?  

6.  Put your finger on the pulse of a younger generation
Usually (although not always) mentors end up working with younger mentees, sometimes much younger.  Different generations think and act differently. If you are to be an effective leader, you need to have an understanding of how younger generations see things and where they can make a difference to the organisation. The intimacy of a mentoring relationship offers a unique insight into these generational differences.

7.  Change someone's world
Do you remember a teacher, a coach or a former boss who said or did something that changed the trajectory of your life?  This is your chance to do that for someone else.  Not every mentoring partnership is life-changing, but we see enough of it to know that every mentor has the potential to instigate surprising change. 

8.  Exercise emotional intelligence
Working one-on-one with a mentee requires you to sharpen your emotional radar.  You will be called upon to gauge the emotional state of the other person and respond with empathy.  Not only is emotional intelligence a key differentiator for career advancement, but it can also improve your relationships outside the office. 

9.  Strengthen the lessons you've already learned
There is no better way to embed knowledge than through teaching.  You’ve learned the hard way how to hire the right person, raise prices or negotiate a tough contract.  By passing this knowledge on to a novice, you clarify and embed those lessons within yourself. 

10.  Improve productivity
Sharing your insights, learning and networks with younger colleagues helps to grease the organisational wheel.  Stepping up the pace and increasing productivity helps everyone within the organisation – including you. 

11.  Feel good about yourself
Tell yourself all you want that you’re doing it for your resume, but we guarantee you that once you become a mentor, the “feel good” factor will take hold. There is little more rewarding than knowing you are making a difference to someone else’s life. 

If you've read the above and would like to learn more about what we're looking for in a volunteer mentor, please read the below.

Mentors will be responsible for providing technical and entrepreneurial guidance to businesses participating in StartNorth. This can be delivered through the facilitation of masterclasses and workshops, a once-off mentoring session, and an ongoing mentorship relationship (preferred).

There are no formal qualifications required to become a mentor. That being said, for those providing technical expertise, we look for a minimum of two years experience in your indicated area of expertise. For those providing entrepreneurial mentorship, the candidate should have created and managed at least one of their own businesses in the past.

•  A strong belief that mentorship has the capacity to drive positive change
•  High proficiency level and knowledge in all aspects of business creation
•  Thorough understanding of business management and organisation
•  An understanding of the challenges associated with new business start-ups
•  Strong business acumen and demonstrated business analysis skills
•  Have a strong understanding of teaching skills and ability to form one-to-one coaching strategies
•  Experience engaging with and working alongside people of varying backgrounds
•  Outstanding written and verbal communication skills
•  Enjoy working in a benevolent capacity

Mentor Conditions:
We encourage a mentor-mentee relationship that works for both parties. Accordingly, there may be a small amount of travel required to meet the mentees in a mutually beneficial location.

For the delivery of a masterclass or workshop, the expectation is the delivery of a three-hour workshop.

For a once-off mentor session, the expectation is one meeting of approximately 60 minutes.

For ongoing mentorship, the expectation is meetings of up to 60 minutes for at least three sessions. Continuation of this relationship beyond the stipulated three meetings will be subject to mutual agreement between both parties.

If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer mentor for StartNorth, please submit this registration form. If you have any questions regarding the mentorship program, please email [email protected]