Where can mediators work?
Training in mediation can lead to different opportunities, depending on which domain you specialize in. For example, you could have your own mediation practice, be amediator for a company handling internal and external negotiations, a labour organizer, a union representative or work in politics. Each area has different problems mediators need to overcome, but the position is exciting and dynamic. However, like any profession, it takes hard work and dedication to become successful.
Jason Dykstra of Absolution Mediation advises students to network. “Connect with people as much as you humanly can,” he says. “Because this work is really all about people.”
Daryl Landau, an associate at Cooperative Solutions, suggests that young mediators first look into internal mediation within organizations in order to gain expertise. “Private practice is a bigger jump,” he says.
Virginia Harwood encourages students to join a professional organization, reach out to the mediation community, attend court to learn legal jargon, and be open to jobs that may later lead to career opportunities. “There’s no direct career path, and it is challenging for students. They need to find their niche.”
For recent graduates interested in starting their own mediation practice, knowledge of social media can be an advantage. Susan Baker notes that “[mediation] is certainly a career that requires an entrepreneurial quality,” and using twitter and blogging well to promote yourself and your practice can be beneficial.
Visit the ADR Institute of Canada for a list of affiliated regional mediation programs.
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