Even if you read what I write occasionally, you know how strongly I feel about the importance of a firm mentoring program that is ALIVE AND HEALTHY at your firm. Not one that you have on paper or on-line that is referred to during orientation but, in reality, few people inside your firm follow.
It takes continual effort, monitoring and encouragement by firm leaders to make a mentoring program come alive. To read more about this topic, scroll down, check-out the "labels" on the right and click on the label "Mentoring" to read some past posts on this topic. Also, read my recent article in the Journal of Accountancy, Make the Most of Mentoring.
The reason I am focusing on mentoring again today is because of an article in this morning's Wall Street Journal - Finding Anchors in the Storm: Mentors. Now, more than ever, your young accountants need you to mentor and counsel them. They are adjusting to the reality that they can't move easily from one job to the next and they realize that their future depends on actively seeking out mentors in their current firm and committing to a longer-term relationship.
For young people, finding and developing the relationship isn't as easy as it was in boom times. Partners and managers are under more stress and maybe not as willing to take on the responsibility of mentoring a new accountant. If your firm does not have a formal mentoring program, volunteer to form a committee to explore and develop one for your firm. In the meantime, you need to be proactive and find a mentor on your own.
To find a mentor, you should:
- Take a personal inventory of your goals in a mentoring relationship.
- Consider what would you like to gain.
- Consider specific disciplines or niches you want to learn more about.
- Are you interested in learning more about a special designation, like PFS or CFF?
- Be prepared when you approach a potential mentor.
Mentoring is not difficult, it is one of the most basic and natural activities especially in a CPA firm. I assist firms in developing, documenting and implementing programs. Contact me if you want more information.
"One thing I know; the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve." - Albert Schweitzer