Peers can perform many of the functions typically associated with traditional mentors. Peer mentors can provide the career development mentoring functions of information sharing, job-related feedback, and career strategizing as well as the psychosocial functions of friendship, personal feedback, emotional support, and confirmation.
- Information peer relationships involve exchanging information about work and the organization with low levels of self-disclosure and trust.
- Collegial peer relationships involve increased information sharing, emotional support, feedback, confirmation, friendship, and career strategizing with moderate trust and self-disclosure.
- Special peer relationships involve intimacy, continuity, stability, and a sense of bonding which can provide a sense of security, comfort and belongingness on the job. These relationships are rare.
To establish a peer mentoring relationship, scan your environment for those who have information and would be available to provide feedback and emotional support. Invite a peer to join you for coffee or lunch. Or plan to attend a university event, such as Spring Faculty Conference, together. Afterward, you can debrief the event.