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The Canadian Context

Mentees may already have received a general introduction to Canadian workplace culture and what Canadian employers are looking for. In addition, mentees may have had a job in Canada – just not one in their field and at their professional level.

Mentors will be able to provide insights into generic workplace cultural norms in Canada and the culture of the mentee’s chosen field, though of course, each workplace will be unique. Mentees will also be able to provide insights that will assist the mentor in being more effective in a diverse work environment.

Mentors and mentees can share information about workplace cultural norms in any of the following topics:
  • what employers value, expect and reward at the employment level for which the mentee is aiming.
  • expectations around punctuality and attendance.
  • expectations about reporting and accountability, taking initiative, working independently, participation in and contribution to team discussions.
  • workplace hierarchy and norms around interaction with peers, supervisors, employees and clients/customers; norms around formality/informality.
  • management styles.
  • performance evaluation and feedback.
  • meeting etiquette.
  • the first day on the job or orientation.
  • policies and procedures.
  • business writing norms.
  • unwritten rules about how things are done e.g. business jargon, what takes priority tasks, how to write a project brief, how to present data/information.
  • career paths and career progression.