I never thought I would be a mentor to anyone. It’s a nice idea, but I didn’t think I had anything in particular to offer. Over the past couple of years though, I’ve kind of stumbled into it and without really realising it, it has become the area of my life that I’m most passionate about, brings me so much joy, excites me, motivates me and pushes me to do more in so many areas of my life. And so, if you’ve been thinking about mentoring, I’m here to tell you, get on that train, friends!
Run Dem Crew, the running crew I’m part of, has a project called Youngers in which we mentor young people between the ages of 16-24. You can read more about it here. Just before Christmas, we did our first female-only Youngers project and it was such great fun.
Last week, ASOS Magazine got in touch with us as they’re really impressed with the project. They wanted to do a story on us for an upcoming issue. So on Friday, myself and a few of the Youngers girls went to do a photo shoot with the ASOS team and it got me thinking about why it’s so important to mentor young people in your life.
For all but one of the girls, it was their first experience being on a photo shoot. They were so excited and energetic – their positive vibes were infectious. Sure, it was cool for them to have their picture taken, but more importantly, they got an up close and personal look at a bunch of possible careers they could get into. They were able to chat to make up artists, stylists, photographers, a journalist and an art director. It’s not often that young people get to have that experience. The girls absolutely loved it and really absorbed every moment.
I’m so happy that I was in part able to help facilitate that for them. As part of the Youngers program, I’ll often do a bit of a social media workshop for and give them a blogging tutorial and ongoing help with that. I used to think I’d have nothing to offer as a mentor, but looking back, I wish I’d have had someone in my life when I was younger who was in the field I wanted to get into and could have taken me under their wing, given me a bit of guidance.
Think about the position you’re in now, the skills you have both in and out of your job. Somewhere, there’s a young person who looks up to you and wants to eventually be where you are. Passing on some of the gems you’ve learned along the way is not only easy to do, but helps the young person learn in a real and relevant way.
So if you’ve been wanting to become a mentor, figure out what skills you have to offer and go do it. A quick Google search brings up all sorts of programs you can get involved in. The bonus is that you’ll learn so much from the young people you work with. Fulfillment to the max!
Now, go pay it forward!
P.S We’ll be in the April issue of ASOS Magazine!