Mentor: An experienced person who advises and helps somebody with less experience over a period of time.
No matter what people may say, no one can survive as an island. If you think you can make it on your own, you’ll probably end up struggling… trust me, I know.
I used to be one of those “I can do it by myself” or “I know what I’m doing, it’ll work out”, when really and truly I had no idea. In my defence, I didn’t even know where or who to turn to.
But when I came to my wits end and had no idea what to do next God literally placed people around me to be that helping hand I needed for encouragement and support. Even as things have levelled out now, I still have knowledgeable and experienced people around me who are well equipped to help me through and over situations.
Below are the three main life areas I believe everyone should have someone experienced enough to provide the support they might need.
The best way to know what a particular career entails, how to enter that field and navigate through the ranks is to ask someone who is already in it or has been through it. If you’re going through career obstacles or questioning your next steps reach out to someone who knows all about it for advice. They could be from your current place of work or where you plan on moving to next. Send them an email and ask to meet to pick their brain. My “career” mentor has been a pillar of strength at the worst times when I literally almost gave up on my legal career. The fact my mentor went through similar academic and career hurdles to me inspires me to know that if they can excel in their career as a Corporate Solicitor in an international firm, then so can I. I really believed God aligned our paths to meet whilst I was at law school and I’m happy that we’re still close almost 4 years later.
No matter what stage of life you’re at, life can throw things at you that can be beyond what you can bear. That is where it’s good to have someone in your court who has the experience or knowledge to help navigate you out of it. My “personal life” mentor literally picked me up at my lowest. We had known each other for a while, attending the same church, but on a random day he invited me to meet with him just for a chat. And almost 2 years later my life has done a full 360 for the better! I’ve learnt how to believe in myself, trust God and the process and how to dream big and work smart. A personal mentor could be anyone, they could be an older relative, a good friend, a leader in your community, you don’t have to label it! But let it be someone who can bestow power bombs of wisdom and encouragement to you when you need it the most.
School and university can be a testing time for anyone (as discussed in the previous post “You’re Not Alone”). For me, school has always been difficult, no matter how hard I tried I didn’t always see the results I had hoped for. Thankfully, at school and university I had teachers who really looked out for me. Teachers who would sit me down and show me how to write an essay properly, how to study and revise effectively and stay organised whilst having a social life. I still keep in touch with these teachers, despite school ending YEARS ago, because they really shaped the ME that I am today.
I’m forever grateful to all my official and unofficial mentors who are and have been in my life. Whenever I have the opportunity I always let know how much they mean to me, as without them I have no idea where I’d be.
There are many opportunities available for mentorship, for all facets of life. If you know someone you admire and would like to find out more about their life journey, reach out, connect and see how you can add value to them as well as gain some valuable nuggets of information.