Mentoring is an underrated concept and yet it has helped set many on the right path at a critical time in their life where they did not know their left leg from their right.
Having so many balls in the air is a something Faith knows so well given the fact that she was newly married, had to accommodate adult in-laws, and was thinking of starting a family immediately. Did I mention that she was also a student at the university and that her demanding job required her to be on the road most of the time?
While some women may not have a problem handling all of these effortlessly, Faith was drowning.
After some counseling, her Pastor offered to introduce her to a mentor that he thought could help her navigate these challenges that were giving her sleepless nights. According to her testimony, things changed for the better and she has just recruited her own mentee who is way younger than her as she believes the earlier you start mentoring someone, the better.
As it stands, Faith is not the only one drowning as there are millions of women, children, teenagers all over the world who face problems arising from broken homes, joblessness, an identity crisis, drug related problems and so on and may need a guiding hand to be able to handle these issues and go on to lead better lives.
These people need mentors in their career paths, family lives and in the various stages of life. If you are not mentoring someone here are some reasons you should start,
1.Change Someone’s life
Before meeting her pastor Faith did know that mentors existed and once she started her relationship with her mentor things changed because she learned to climb her mountains one step at a time. Seeing someone else who had overcome such challenges also helped her see her problems as easy to solve. If for instance, someone is going about their job hunting the wrong way, their mentor can advise them to change their structure of their CV, start by volunteering and so on.
2. Better Society
If you change one, I change another you will realize that there is an organic overhaul of some of the bad vices that plague our society. Such problems include taking drugs, alcoholism, dropping out of school, early marriages and so on. Some people just need someone to reach out to them and most of the time it is expensive to hire the services of a professional counselor. Some people also see going to see a counselor as being a western concept and largely stay away from it.
3. Enlarging your network
You can never have enough friends and acquaintances and in some instances, you may just get a new member for your family. There are people who started out as mentor-mentee but ended up discovering that they have much in common and became fast friends. Being there for someone at their lowest point may go a long way into cementing the friendships between the two of you.
4. Make you more sensitive to the plight of others
Sometimes when we are comfortable we can get too detached to the real life issues that are facing other people. Some people do recognize these issues but tell themselves that it is neither their circus nor their monkeys and mind their own business.
Mentoring someone may open you up to the real issues that other people face on a daily basis. You could end up doing much more for someone or a group of people than you ever expected.
5. You could change your life in the process
It might start as a chance to mentor one person but you could end up getting more chances to mentor individuals in the process. This means that whereas you planned to exit once your mentee was on their feet, you may just get surprised by the new-found need to start a whole program for such people and end up touching many lives in the process.
The decision to mentor people may open up opportunities and chances that you had never dreamt about in your life. It may also open doors to your career or family life that had been rudely banged in your face before.
Additionally, as you help others become better human beings; you might just end up being a good human being yourself by actually drinking the water that you are preaching about instead of wine. This is as opposed to when you are not accountable to someone and can do anything you want without your conscience pricking you.
6. Inspire you with fresh ideas
Sometimes hanging around the same people can make you be comfortable and uninspired but mentoring another person can give you a whole new perspective. They might surprise you with some good ideas as well that you could use in your line of work.
7. Ideal for retirees
After retiring from their jobs, most people feel isolated, useless, idle and so on. Having someone to mentor can help in social interactions for people in the retirement age. If you need to feel cognitively challenged you should take up mentoring as well and you may end up having more fun than your mentee.
Ways to get mentees
• You can join a mentorship program at work or in your local church. If any of those match your skills you can apply to join them.
• You can start an informal mentorship relationship with a mentee you have identified.
• If there is anyone at the family level who needs your services you can offer yourself
• Some schools have strong alumni associations and you can offer your services through them as well.
• Community –based organizations can be of help if you need to help a mentee as well
• Social media can also help you find a mentee because there are organizations who might be looking for someone like you. Alternatively, you can just post on your wall and wait to find someone.