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Mentoring in Australia

mentoringLooking for a job, and then immersing in the Australian workplace, is a challenge for many migrants. You have left an environment you know, and the social cues you follow are often not the same in this new culture. Time and experience will help you! Be patient as good things come to those who wait!

 
Looking for a job, and then immersing in the Australian workplace, is a challenge for many migrants. You have left an environment you know, and the social cues you follow are often not the same in this new culture. Time and experience will help you! Be patient as good things come to those who wait!


Reasons you may struggle initially include:

  • insufficient knowledge about Australian job seeking tactics
  • not clearly understanding the culture of the workplace
  • lack of recognition of your overseas qualifications
  • lack of local work experience

To navigate this new world, it's helpful to find an experienced person who can coach or mentor you, and share information about your industry in Australia. Many industry associations offer such programs, where a senior member advises a junior one. In addtion, many migrant settlement agencies also have programs that match new arrivals with someone in the same profession that they can turn to for advice.


Professional mentoring

If you know someone in Australia who is in the same profession as you and has experience you can learn from, call them to ask about your own education or career path. This may develop into an ongoing relationship, with the person eventually becoming your mentor.

Some companies in Australia have in-house mentoring programs. Ask your human resources manager if the company has a scheme in place.

Once you're established in Australia, try to return the favour to new migrants in your field of work!

Here are some sites which you may find useful:

Meet Up has locally organised, free mentoring groups. Search for your area. Woman's Mentoring is a good place for females to learn about the business culture of Australia

Job Shadowing

job-shadowing

What is job shadowing? Job shadowing is similar to a mentorship or volunteer opportunity. It's a great way to get some inside information on your industry in Australia and make some professional contacts. Job shadowing is not advertised. You will have to use your networking contacts or cold call to arrange a period of job shadowing. If there's a company you'd like to spend some time with, call the human resources manager or relevant departmental manager, and ask about the possibility of job shadowing. Job shadowing can offer the following benefits:

 

  • Observing the day-to-day functions of the business.
  • Getting to know professionals in your industry; creating a list of contacts.
  • Learn how your industry operates in Australia and how you fit in.


If you are offered an opportunity to job shadow it is important to make every effort get involved and contribute where you can. Show how you can be of benefit to the business.