Mentoring for Translators and Interpreters
SURVEY RESULTS - Conclusions
PART II: MENTEE – Trends from the Mentee’s perspective
Not surprisingly, and in accordance with the data obtained in the Survey’s Mentors section, the Mentee part also hints at a lack of mentoring in our industry: two thirds of the 432 professionals who answered the Mentee-section have never been mentees, out of which more than 55% would not, whereas almost 44% would like to be mentored in the future. A standard might help to raise awareness among potential mentors and mentees, thus getting more professionals into mentoring. It might also help the significant number of respondents who stated Never having thought about being a mentee so far, to understand the value of being mentored.
The biggest group of former mentees accepted the proposal of a close colleague to help them develop new skills. While having done an internship as part of translation / interpretation studies and having been coached by a trainer from a professional training program also rank high on the list, significantly fewer approached a senior freelancer with a request to help them in their career.
Most former mentees found their mentoring useful for improving their skills and developing their business, but some disliked it mainly because of the mentor’s attitude and/or skills, the content and methods used, the time spent and the lack of payment for work done. Possibly some of this last group might profit from a Standard offering; a roadmap to set up an adequate, detailed mentoring charter for each case.
Survey results show a need to conceive mentoring models that take into account already existing working schedules, time and financial restraints (lack of payment) of potential mentees; and possible agreements that are mutually beneficial for the mentor and the mentee, as well as possible sponsors for such a mentor-mentee relationship.
Former mentees were mostly coached in translation, followed by the next largest group who were mentored jointly in translation and business. Only very few have received mentoring exclusively on business matters. Nevertheless, it must be said here that it makes a lot of sense, particularly for freelancers, to be mentored not only in linguistics but also in business. This is also shown by an important number of respondents requesting training in Business.
Most potential mentees are willing to be mentored remotely, through online-meetings and email-exchange.
About a third of former mentees have received mentoring from more than one person at the same time, a still higher percentage would be ready to try that. The Standard should hint at possible advantages and risks of being mentored by one or several mentors at the same time, and the need to clearly define each mentor’s role if they act simultaneously.
According to the Survey results, a lot of potential mentees would rather rely on a mentoring program or standard when confronted with the ambitious task of building a specific, personalized program. A standard providing the building blocks to such a program could e.g. be divided into sections, to first be discussed with the mentor and help mentees define their goals.
Consistent with the already mentioned need to get more experienced freelance translators and interpreters into mentoring, many translators and interpreters find it hard to find someone ready to accept to act as a mentor.
PART III: MENTOR AND MENTEE COMPARED – Joint analysis of Mentor’s and Mentee’s trends >
(< Back to PART I: MENTOR – Trends from the Mentor’s perspective)