There are many definitions of mentoring, but the one to which CIPS (Canada’s Association of I.T. Professionals) subscribes is that mentoring is not on-the-job training, but rather an opportunity to access the “secret recipe”, or the unwritten code of the profession, by gaining access to experts willing to share their knowledge and practical experience. It does not just stop there, it also offers informal and confidential guidance, as well as encouragement, in order to allow participants to steer their own career towards a path of success.
The Brian Murray Mentoring Program (BMMP) was created to guide the career development of fellow Information Technology (IT) professionals that are members in good standing of CIPS. It is aptly named after Brian Murray, who had an altruistic vision, which he demonstrated throughout his career, of making a meaningful contribution to the future of IT professionals, and as an extension, to the IT profession in Canada. The program aims at assisting new professionals entering the workforce after either graduating from a CIPS accredited program, or immigrating from abroad, upon meeting the eligibility criteria. The program shares practical experience attained by successful IT professionals across Canada, highlighting the practices, the rational and the decisions that paved their path to success, as well as the demonstrated soft skills that they have practiced and encouraged during their practice.
Consider the following facts:
1. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg all actively sought out mentors at different stages in their careers.
2. Most professionals that have completed mentoring relationships report that doing so was instrumental in achieving their success. It will speed up the development of the personal and professional skills needed to be successful, without having to experience the associated drawbacks having to learn those lessons on your own.
3. Employers are aware of the need to develop “soft” or “essential skills” among new hires, including teamwork, communicating, problem-solving, and critical thinking. They are also acutely aware of the knowledge that is being lost due to an ageing and retiring workforce.
4. As professionals join the workforce they start becoming specialized in certain field(s) and ways to perform their job functions, losing touch about other areas which they need / want to develop. They might also be exposed to managers that are more interested in measuring their performance than in providing opportunities for their professional development.
CIPS is recognized by the government of Canada as the holder of the only professional designation for practitioners in Information Technology with the I.S.P. (Information Systems Professional) designation. Considering that CIPS' network of professionals possess a wide range of demonstrated subject matter expertise and proven practical experience using Information Technologies as an enabler in the execution of business strategies in all industries across the country, CIPS is in a unique position to offer significant value, regardless of the career development stage at which an aspiring member might be.
CIPS will be officially launching the BMMP in September 2016 as a series of group mentoring sessions at selected educational institutions. If you would like to learn more about how you can either contribute to this program by sharing your experiences, or further your career, drop us a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.