Mentor. Coach. Guide. Counselor. Teacher. Instructor. Adviser. The word “mentor” has a lot of meanings, whether you’re looking it up in the dictionary or asking what it might mean to you personally. So how do you settle on one term? Let’s look at the different types of mentoring and how they could apply to you as a Marine or a Marine spouse.
Formal mentoring is a one-on-one relationship where a senior or more experienced person (the mentor), provides guidance to the junior or less experienced person (the protégé, sometimes called a “mentee”). Sometimes there’s a formal program that matches a mentor to a mentee, like when you were assigned a sponsor at your new duty station. The formal relationship might be long-term — for example, a year. Or, it might be a single conversation.
Other times, leaders in your unit may serve as mentors.
Formal mentorship programs exist for military spouses as well. Check out the article, "Finding a Mentor as a Marine Spouse," or reach out to the Military Spouse eMentor Program, and MySECO’s list of Spouse Ambassador Network, to find out more and locate participating organizations.
Many organizations provide formal mentoring programs for Veterans and military spouses. The Marine For Life Network recently profiled American Corporate Partners (ACP), eMentor, and Veterati.
Mentoring doesn’t always occur through a formal program. People who mentor may not be Mentors (with a capital M), in a leadership position.. Any person who knows more than you about something, or has more experience than you do, can be an excellent informal mentor, even if that person is a peer, or is younger or more junior than you are.
How can Informal Networking Work for You?
Ready to get involved? Learn more through your Installation’s MCCS Transition Readiness and Family Member Employment Assistance Program and ask the Marine For Life Network on LinkedIn. You can also like Marine For Life on Facebook.
As a Marine spouse looking for employment, start with the network you already have, continue to cultivate it, and grow your professional network. The Family Readiness Team has put together some resources to help you on your employment journey.
You know a mentor is key to advancing in your career, but as a Marine spouse where do you find a mentor to provide career guidance, advice and support? Here are 6 places to start your search.
“Once a Marine, Always a Marine” has always been a key part of the Marine Corps ethos and it is reflected in the professional development opportunities offered before and after separation.