Are we all mentors at some stage in life? Should we mentor? What does a mentor do? These may be some questions that you ponder on or have thought about as part of your next season of life. Those of us who are parents will identify with mentoring as part of the later stages of parenting. I believe parenting starts with love and boundaries, then coaching and as our children reach their late teens and beyond mentoring takes over. We often get these mixed up and this causes its own set of challenges.
You may have been mentored at some stage of your work journey and then hopefully later you took on the role of mentor. You have done a formal mentoring qualification or feel that through your journey you have developed the skills needed to walk this journey.
At 50plus-skills we would like everyone to think about mentoring as part of their journey. Mentoring can take many different pathways and each of us can find the path best suited for our own journey.
Here are some examples.
1. Mentor a young person needing guidance with life skills. It could be a school child or a student.
2. Mentor a young entrepreneur in your area of expertise.
3. Walk alongside a group of young employees in your industry sector.
4. Mentor emerging business leaders or school principals
5. Mentor young directors on governance and the journey of corporate leadership.
6. Engage in co-mentorship with a young person where both young and old are mentoring one another.
7. Reverse mentoring from a young person skilled in technology.
8. Offer your mentorship skills in the NPO sector
9. Mentor online across cultural barriers.
There are many formal programs and places where one can engage to mentor. At 50plus-skills we have engaged with several organisations to ensure that mentoring is something you can do in this season. We pride ourselves in building relationships between our members and these organisations as well as connecting organisations together to build deeper capacity.
Chip Conley in his new book Wisdom@Work talks about being a MenTern. A combination of a mentor and an intern. He shares in his book about mentoring the young genius team that designed and built Airbnb and at the same time how he learnt from them about the changes happening in digital technology. He was both the mentor and the intern. I believe this to be a great model for each of us. It keeps us curious, learning and engaged.
Join the movement of mentoring. Change a life including your own. It will keep you engaged, curious, active and involved.