Having a mentor to guide you can impact your direction in life - not only your career. If you have the right mentor, it can lead to magical outcomes.
You are not alone, there is someone who cares …
You’ve probably heard the old saying ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.’ And, whether that has proven true for you yet or not, you will fully understand the meaning of the phrase when you take part in a mentorship relationship. The importance of mentorship runs deeper than extending one’s network – it can be life-changing.
The benefits of having a mentor are also far-reaching, which is why it’s something that so many people will seek in their academic and professional endeavours. A mentor is someone who helps you grow your skills, make better decisions, and gain new perspectives on your life and career. As a mentee, your mentor will leverage their experience to give you guidance on your career or life, now and in the future.
Mentoring is about teaching youth how to be invested in school, in their future, and helps hold them accountable. It also helps increase graduation rates, lower the dropout rate and assist the youth with grasping a more positive attitude towards school. As a mentor, I get to work on my own leadership skills with every interaction. Mentors should serve as role models for their mentees. Since mentors give advice and suggestions, mentors must remain unbiased and objective, which is a key leadership quality. Passing on your ideologies as the only way / right way is often a contributing factor to an unsuccessful mentor−mentee relationship.
Let it rather be hoped that better things are always ahead. Let it be hoped that you can get through even the toughest of times. Let it be hoped that you are exactly where you are meant to be right now. Having a mentor is like having an angel watching over you, guiding you and ensuring that you do not fall, and if you do fall, the angel is there to help you pick up and continue with your journey … that which we are blessed to call … life’s journey.
Mentors are individuals who portray active listening abilities (without judgement) and are honest, empathetic, encouraging, positive role models who most often have gone through the mentorship process themselves to be able to relate. Mentorship holds mentors and mentees accountable for the commitments they make to one another. Making a commitment to grow with a mentor makes it harder to procrastinate doing what needs to be done to improve, and it is a win-win situation.
Meeting with a student or school child / young adult a couple of times a month may not seem like a big deal, but the impact it has on them is incredibly beneficial. Mentors help create positive change and are someone the young person is able to look up to. Outreach programmes such as ‘take a child to varsity’, ‘job shadowing’ or even ‘career school visits’ are small and doable community initiates that make a huge impact on a child’s life, as they are able to see and visualise the life they want, fast forwarded 15 years, with the mentor’s guidance showing them the possibilities. It is a beautiful feeling of ‘paying it forward’ to know that you as the mentor have touched the life of a young adult even just one.
The objectives of a mentor–mentee relationship are to nurture a lifelong relationship, identify accomplishments as and when they occur as a mentor-mentee pair, and examine what you have both learned through the process. This is a lifelong bond that is created, regardless of how the individuals grow and part ways later in life. It is a beautiful coming together and the fruits are endless.
As the great Nelson Mandela said, ‘There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to help others without expecting anything in return.’
Ruyaida Moosa Cassim CA(SA), MCom, CA(SA), Ad Prog Tax, PhD candidate, Personal Life Coach and Mentorship Champion