“Now that I’m established in my career, I decided to give back to the community.”
Coming from Malaysia, Sivaletchimy Perumal (Siva) discerned that the culture in Canada was very different in many ways. She knew that in order to succeed in Canada, she had to make an effort to learn about Canadian workplace culture and so she sought out a mentor.
When she arrived in August 2009, she was determined to join the financial industry. “Because I knew I would be able to transfer my skills from back home. My mentor helped me achieve my objective.” “I met my current employer through The Mentoring Partnership,” she explained.
Today, Siva works with TD Bank as the Real Estate Secured Lending Team Manager, managing a group of credit analysts and credit assistants. She is working towards Certified Credit Professional (CCP) qualification with the Credit Institute of Canada. “Now that I’m established in my career, I decided to give back to the community,” by mentoring newcomers through The Mentoring Partnership.
There are multiple skills that Siva has gained by mentoring. “Firstly, it has helped me become confident in coaching, guiding and developing others – especially my direct reports in my workplace.” Second, “ the mentoring experience is helping me to have the right conversation in various situations, whether it is work- related or personal, and to handle issues in a very professional manner.”
Thirdly, she says that she has learned to better understand people’s emotions and avoid being judgmental. “I have also developed strong listening skills. This mentoring experience is actually making my job as a people manager easier” and she is learning how better to deal with a diversity of employees.
The shining mentoring moment for her came when she was able to listen to and understand the predicaments and challenges new immigrants are going through and give them comfort and assurance. “To tell them of the times when I was in the same situation and how I overcame the challenges,” she says,” when I share my success story, that inspires my mentees and they believe in this great program.” This helps to make the connection easier with the mentees and makes the mentoring journey more comfortable.
How has she put her learning from the program into practice/ “As a new people manager, I try to empower my team members to speak up and share ideas and opinions during my coaching sessions with them at work,” she says. “I give them the assurance that I am there to support and guide them – I learned from my mentoring experience. It also helps me to prepare my people for promotion interviews, resume writing and any kind of moral support,” she adds.
As a mentee, she absorbed the knowledge that she acquired through The Mentoring Partnership and put it into practice. Simple things, such as appreciating someone for doing a good job or thanking someone for providing any sort of help are things she has learned to apply in her daily life. Her advice to newcomers is to pick up these etiquettes. “They make a huge difference to succeeding in Canada. I have experienced it myself.”