The beauty of ageing is being able to enjoy true self-acceptance, free from the anxiety of youth and the lack of confidence that comes from inexperience. Those of us on the mature side have an invaluable source of knowledge acquired through our careers, raising families and our general experiences. There are so many young people aspiring to get where we are, yet so few of us get the opportunity to share our wisdom.
Mentoring has been gaining momentum, especially amongst women, to create mutually beneficial relationships. While many women may have famous role models or follow celebrity influencers that bring them great joy, the accessibility of a real life mentor is invaluable when it comes to gaining relevant, genuinely advantageous information.
If you’re new to an industry, there’s only so much you can learn from traditional education (and the internet). Those of us that have children certainly try to pass on our wisdom, but whether or not they decide to listen is a different story.
Mentoring is a wonderful way to share what you’ve learned with someone who is not only hungry for that knowledge, but highly appreciative of the information they are receiving. There are probably things you can share in one sitting that may take a younger person years to discover on their own. We so often say to ourselves ‘If I’d known then what I know now.’ In a sense, this is an opportunity to give a younger version of yourself that amazing advantage.
Mentoring isn’t just about giving good advice and sharing your experiences, it’s also the perfect way to reignite your own passions about your vocation or interests. When we’ve been doing something for a long time, we lose some of the energy and enthusiasm we had when we first started. Remembering why you began doing what you love can help renew your focus.
There are a number of wonderful programs in Australia you can sign up to if you’d like to share your wisdom with those that will appreciate it most. You can also nominate yourself as a mentor within your company, association or group. It can be as simple as sending an email and letting people know you’d be open to a mentoring program.
If you’re a little younger and feel you still have lots to learn about a subject of interest or a particular industry, think about who you look up to most. If there is someone that regularly inspires you, don’t be afraid to ask if they’re available for mentoring. Even if they are time-poor, having someone seek their personal wisdom as apposed to another work-related request will probably make their day (or even their year). If they can’t mentor you regularly, offer to shout them lunch over a Q & A session with questions you have prepared especially for them.