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The benefits of being mentored are obvious. But what about the benefits of being a mentor? We spoke with Elizabeth Beach AE, chair of the IPEd Mentoring Program and Sally Asnicar, IPEd member and mentor, to learn more about what’s involved in being a mentor and how rewarding it can be.

When Sally Ansicar started her editing business in 2007, she had to learn on the fly.

“[I] had very little support or advice; I basically had to ‘make it up’ as I went,” Sally said.

“Naturally, I made many mistakes. While I did benefit from the guidance of a paid business coach and various small business programs, I thought that had I had a mentor who was also an editor in those early days, it would have been of tremendous help.”

“That’s why I’m passionate about helping new editors who are starting their businesses. If I can support them and save them from some of the pitfalls, then I think that is so valuable.”

IPEd mentoring is mutually beneficial

Chair of the IPEd Mentoring Program Elizabeth Beach AE said that mentors gain as much as mentees from participating in the program.

“Mentors tell me that they love passing on their knowledge and sharing insights with enthusiastic mentees,” Elizabeth said.

“Most mentors find that the mentoring sessions are an opportunity to clarify their thinking and reflect on how they go about their editing practice. They like the idea of ‘giving back’, and they often get a real buzz from the interactions. It’s a win-win for both parties!”

Research on the benefits of being a mentor often cites personal satisfaction, the development of networks and the opportunity to learn new skills as some of the rewards.

Sally says the satisfaction of helping someone who finds themself in the same situation as she did back in 2007 is a significant benefit. But it’s not the only one.

“I also learn from the experience myself,” she said.

“Sometimes a mentee might ask me a question I don’t know the answer to, which is great because then I need to fill that knowledge gap myself. I feel that mentorship is mutually beneficial.”

For Sally, the mentor–mentee relationship often doesn’t end when the official mentorship wraps up.

“It pleases me to stay in touch with my mentees after the mentorship is complete. It’s great to hear how they make progress with building their businesses and their editing skills.”

What’s expected of a mentor?

While the benefits of being a mentor are clear, what kind of commitment is required?

As Elizabeth explains, it’s less than you might think – and it’s flexible!

“When a mentor signs up to be matched with a mentee, we kick off with an introductory phone call to check compatibility. Once that’s confirmed, the commitment is 8 to 10 hours of contact time for a standard mentorship or 4 to 5 hours for a mini mentorship. The contact can be via Zoom, email, phone or face-to-face sessions, depending on location and preference.”

“Most of our mentors average 1 or 2 mentorships a year, but there’s no minimum number and it’s totally up to the mentor how many they do.”

“We’d love to hear from experienced editors who are thinking about becoming a mentor.”

“We understand how busy everyone is, and we’re grateful to all our mentors who manage to fit in a mentorship around their busy work commitments and life in general!”

Quality mentorships benefit the entire editing profession. By increasing the skills of both mentors and mentees, the program helps to safeguard the reputation of editors while strengthening professional networks.

Interested in learning more about being a mentor or have some questions about how it all works? Contact Elizabeth today.

Or if you’re ready to sign up, just fill in this brief online form to get the ball rolling!