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Mitt Livs Chans Mentoring program

Become a mentor to an academic with a foreign background, and contribute to a more open labour market

Applications are currently being accepted! The next program start date for the whole of Sweden is 14-18 February 2022, and the deadline for submitting your application is 9 January. Since you participate digitally, you are welcome to submit your application regardless of where you live in Sweden.

At present in Sweden, around 21% of foreign-born individuals with post-secondary education are either unemployed or in a job that doesn’t match their qualifications – the corresponding figure for Swedish-born individuals with a similar level of education is only 10%.

Being a mentor in Mitt Livs Chans means that you support an individual with a foreign background and post-secondary education and help your mentee to navigate the Swedish labour market. Mentorship is a concrete undertaking whereby you use your knowledge and experience to help another person – but it is also a rewarding investment of time in your own personal development! As a mentor you:

  • Gain increased insight into diversity and inclusion issues in the labour market
  • Gain increased awareness of your own prejudices and exclusionary behaviour, and a better understanding of other cultures
  • Develop your ability to lead and coach others
  • Expand your professional network through contact with the program’s mentees and other mentors
  • Gain a sense of meaningfulness and receive an opportunity to make a difference to another person and contribute to integration in the Swedish labour market

Who can become a mentor?

We are looking for mentors from all types of roles and positions in all types of industries and sectors. We also welcome applications from retired persons. To be a mentor in our program, you need to:

  • Have a few years’ work experience in the Swedish labour market

  • Have a post-secondary education (or equivalent experience)

  • Be engaged, inquisitive and a good listener

  • Speak fluent Swedish or English

  • Be able to commit around 8 hours in total during the 4 months of the program (about 2 hours/month).

Structure of the program

Mitt Livs Chans offers two programs per year – one during the autumn and one during the spring. Each program lasts for 4 months, and participation entails a commitment of around 2 hours per month (8 hours in total). Since you participate digitally, you are welcome to apply regardless of where you live in Sweden. We offer meetings in both Swedish and English.

During the program you are expected to meet with your mentee on at least four occasions, and you are responsible for booking these meetings yourselves. We primarily match mentees and mentors on the basis of educational background, industry/sector and experience. As a mentor you also take part in the program’s joint meetings, where you have the opportunity to meet other mentees and mentors for networking purposes, and where you can further contribute your knowledge and experience of the Swedish labour market.

Impact on our mentors

find that it gives them a sense of meaningfulness to make a difference through mentorship

gain a greater understanding of other cultures

would recommend the role of mentor in Mitt Livs Chans to a friend

Stories

What do previous participants say about their experience of Mitt Livs Chans? Read their stories

Three-time mentor Sinval: ”Stepping out of our comfort zone, that’s how we grow”

FAQ

How much time do I need to invest as a mentor?

During the program you are expected to meet with your mentee on at least 4 occasions, and you are responsible for booking these meetings yourselves. You also take part in the program’s joint meetings, where you have the opportunity to meet other mentees and mentors for networking purposes, and where you can further contribute your knowledge and experience of the Swedish labour market. In total this entails a time commitment of around 12 hours during the 4 months of the program (about 3 hours per month).

What is my primary task as a mentor?

Your role is to act as a sounding board and to provide your mentee with guidance based on his/her specific needs, circumstances and goals. You work together to navigate issues concerning the Swedish labour market, the job-seeking process or a specific industry or sector. For the mentee it is particularly important to have a mentor who feels committed to the program and who is prepared to take the time necessary to build up a rewarding relationship.

Am I expected to find a job for my mentee?

No, your assignment as mentor is not to find a job for your mentee. The primary aim of mentorship is to work together with your mentee and use support and guidance to improve your mentee’s possibilities of finding a job that matches his/her qualifications and skills.

How do you match a mentor with a mentee?

The matching process is performed to the greatest extent possible on the basis of educational background, industry/sector and work experience. If this is not possible, we consider other relevant factors and perform the best possible matching we can – the process is designed to enable us to offer a place in the program to as many mentees as possible.

Do I get paid for being a mentor?

No, unfortunately we are not able to pay any remuneration to our mentors. Being a mentor is a completely voluntary undertaking and helps us to be able to provide a free-of-charge program for the mentees.

Can a mentor have more than one mentee at the same time?

Absolutely! The number of applications we receive from potential mentees is increasing each year, and the program needs more mentors now than ever before. We therefore encourage applicants to take on more than one mentee if possible, although this is completely voluntary, of course, and something you select through a proactive choice in your application. If you are matched with two or more mentees, we recommend that you arrange to meet with them at the same time – not only does this save you time, it also gives the mentees an opportunity to learn from each other.

Who are the other mentors in the program?

Our mentors come from a mix of different sectors and industries – just like our mentees! According to our latest Impact Report, the professional level of our mentors was as follows: 48% employee/non-managerial level, 26% middle management or head of department, 18% CEO or more senior position, and 8% self-employed/other.

Who are the mentees?

The mentees are individuals with a foreign background and post-secondary education who don’t have a job in Sweden that matches their qualifications. In the program we apply Statistics Sweden’s definition of foreign background, which means individuals who were born outside of Sweden or individuals who were born in Sweden but have two foreign-born parents. During the latest year of operation, around 99% of the mentees were born outside of Sweden, and 2 out of 3 had lived in Sweden for less than 3 years. The mentees come from a wide range of industries and sectors, and most of them have at least a few years’ work experience.

Contact

Do you have questions, or would you like more information? Please feel free to contact us!