You’ve lived. You’ve worked. You’ve loved. You’ve failed. You’ve been scared. You’ve succeeded. There is always someone coming behind you who could use a hand. You’re never too young to mentor. You’re never too old to be mentored.
If you have the time and energy to commit one hour a week to starting and maintaining a relationship with a mentee over the next year, you can be a responsible mentor.
1. You can change the world for someone. For people who are younger or less experienced than you, when you share your life and your experiences, you can change their horizons. By sharing that ‘this is a possibility and it is a possibility for YOU’, you can open up entirely new paths in their life.
2. You will learn. When you become a mentor you learn about how things work at different levels and in different places. If you are mentoring someone in your company, you get new insight in how other parts of the business work, and what people in those teams care about. If you mentor someone in another community, you will learn about that culture and maybe even be invited in to it. You will learn things that will make you a better manager, parent, spouse or leader. You will learn things that improve your judgment. You will become more valuable.
3. You will be leaving something of significance behind. So often we wish that our work or our lives had more meaning. What could be more significant than looking back in years to come and seeing the change not only your mentee’s life, but the lives of their families, their future partners, their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren…
4. You will reflect on your own achievements. Sharing your experiences will give you the chance to review and validate what you know and what you’ve accomplished in life up until now. And most likely push you to see what else you can do.
5. You will become known as someone who cares. Making a one-year commitment to walking alongside another person is an act of compassion. Keeping that commitment is a journey of unconditional love. And your spouse, family and colleagues will not fail to notice your kindness and generosity.