January Is National Mentoring Month!

ICMA's commitment to the future of the profession will ensure that the next generation continues its legacy to the communities its members serve.

ARTICLE | Dec 30, 2016

ICMA's commitment to the future of the profession will ensure that the next generation continues its legacy to the communities its members serve. 

Be a Mentor: Minimal Time Commitment; Lasting Rewards 

Mentoring provides a shared opportunity for learning and growth. In fact, many mentors say that they are surprised and grateful for the experience because it is more rewarding than they imagined. There are multiple formal and informal opportunities to mentor within a local government organization, through other professional associations, and through ICMA.


Be a Coach: Participate in the New ICMA Coaching Program.

Now is the perfect time to take part in the new ICMA Coaching Program. Share your knowledge and expertise by serving as a coach to emerging leaders and mid-career professionals throughout the country with 1-1 Coaching. Participate in the always popular Speed Coaching session at the ICMA Annual Conference. Sign up now!


January Engagement Days


  • I Am a Mentor Day, January 12
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, January 16
  • International Mentoring Day, January 17
  • #ThankYourMentor Day, January 19


Here are more ideas to help promote mentoring (and share your ideas in the comments section below):

  • Advise a young professional from your community or another community about the rewards of local government management.
  • Reach out to new ICMA members, to newly appointed professionals, and to members in transition and share encouragement and experiences.
  • Share your experience by serving as adjunct faculty at a local university.
  • Connect your alma mater with the ICMA Student Chapter program.
  • Encourage your staff to join ICMA. ICMA offers a reduced-fee membership for entry-level to mid-management members (below department head positions) to provide comprehensive career tools and help those early in their local government career better frame their professional identity.
  • Encourage early-career professionals and emerging leaders to participate in professional development and leadership opportunities, some of which include:
    • Emerging Professionals Leadership Institute. Special low-cost, ICMA University leadership programs preceding the ICMA Regional Summits that offer early-career professionals and emerging leaders a way to build their leadership skill set.
    • Emerging Leaders Development Program. A two-year program designed to help early- to mid-career professionals build contemporary management skills.
    • Leadership ICMA. An intensive two-year ICMA University program designed to cultivate key competencies needed for successful leadership at all levels of local government management. 

Mentoring can also qualify as professional development as you renew your ICMA Credentialed Manager status. The time spent in formal mentoring activities can count toward 20 hours maximum of the 40-hour annual professional development requirement, if the mentee is not an employee of the ICMA Credentialed Manager. 

Related Resources

Remember to Thank Your Mentor!

"Thank Your Mentor Day"* is January 19. Thank your mentor(s) by sending a note or a card, or by sharing a post through social media using #ICMAmentors #localgov #ThankYourMentorDay.


*Thank Your Mentor Day™ is an initiative of the Harvard School of Public Health.

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