This holiday season, think about offering the gift of mentorship.
Over the last several years, I have found myself taking calls, responding to emails and meeting up with people of all ages to help them navigate their educational journeys and school-to-work or work-to-work transitions. Whether it’s giving feedback on résumés, grad school or job applications, offering interview prep, helping to identify passions and reflect on one’s best self, or promoting possibilities, perseverance and patience, the mentorship role (formal or informal) is incredibly rewarding. Relationships blossom, I always learn a lot and it is a way to ‘pay it forward’ and indirectly express my gratitude for the many mentors I have had throughout my life.
And young people in particular need mentors today
The world they are entering is complex and changing rapidly. They receive conflicting messages about what their values should be, how to make decisions and where to focus their energies. They are interested in changing the world, being entrepreneurial and using their creativity. So much uncertainty and possibility can be daunting. Sometimes they need a cheerleader or a sounding board, other times it’s a little push or a reassuring smile. People of all ages benefit from a dedicated mentor (or two!). Go ahead – offer the gift of mentorship to someone you know!
Here are a few resources on the topic:
- It’s Their Future – A Pan Canadian Study on Career Education – Knowledge Mobilization Department of The Learning Partnership
- Explore this online mentorship social network – offered to 14 – 30 year olds in Québec: Academos Cybermentorat – Sur ce réseau social, « les jeunes peuvent dialoguer avec des mentors, partager leurs intérêts avec leurs pairs et préparer leur avenir professionnel. » Pour le moment, cette ressource n’est disponible qu’au Québec.
- I’ve shared this document with nieces/nephews, students, colleagues & friends: Top 50 Interview Questions
- Consider the mentorship program of Big Brothers, Big Sisters Canada – Grands Frères, Grandes Soeurs Canada
- Check out this small community’s unique mentorship program: DREAM: Designing Routes to Education and Mentorship is a network of people, from volunteers to mentors to sponsors, whose goal is to prepare students for the future. This future isn’t just postsecondary education, but their future beyond school as well. DREAM does this by opening the students up to global issues and showing them how they can solve these problems locally.