It’s been a hot hot minute. I haven’t blogged since the end of April – my sincere apologies. My excuses are as follows lol:
1. Started teaching again (after a short break, tell you all about this later..!) and everything has been very touch and go since. The first few weeks are always always about trying to get the admin work sorted (planning the next semester, staff meetings, writing exam questions etc) so that’s been my main ish. I think I need to hire a personal assistant!
2.My work. Almost almost done! Don’t let me say anything more – but I have a surprise for you all, very very soon!
Today, it’s a bit of a long one, as I’d like to share my experience on the issue of “Mentorship”.
As you guys know, (or should do LOL!) the matter of ‘Mentorship’ is important to me for many reasons. The first, it’s a very useful tool in terms of identifying with someone who can guide on your career path or where you have the potential to be in the next five years. The second, I have always found the information/advice given to be useful, helpful and insightful. It’s always been easy to tell someone what my end game is and get their insight on the best ways of you getting there.
So you guys know I am always looking to expand my circle, but particularly, I am always keen to have those who can inspire or “ginger” me to do better. I’ve recently been extremely privileged to meet two wonderfully and significantly accomplished people – let me tell you about them.
The first is a woman. She’s well accomplished in her field and highly respected. She knows exactly what she is doing – she’s carefully calculated and extremely meticulous in what she does. In the short time that I have known her, there are several attributes of hers that I have learnt, like the importance of paying attention to detail. A little apt, coming from a lawyer as we are generally expected to have this skill. I think mine is not as sharpened and seeing its importance in practice has made it just a tad clearer.
There are things about her I wish I could say, but a) that would reveal who she is and b) I have not asked that permission and (c) I don’t want anyone to steal her from me! I joke, I joke!
The second is a man. Goodness and gaddddamit! This man is so very very accomplished ( at a young age, I might add!) and incredibly strategic about decisions he makes. Based on the few meetings that we have had, and his outlook on certain issues, I can see how he has clearly and meticulously planned each stage of his chosen career path and I understand the decisions he has made, based on the results/outcomes. I can learn from him many things, but particularly, my ability to master the art of planning.
Get yourself a mentor.
You are creme de la creme, but you will only take this ‘creme’ to the next level if you take the time to refine and challenge yourself to grow. Your self improvement is your responsibility. It doesn’t matter what career path you are from – there are always benefits of having a mentor. However, it is important that you make the distinction between a “friend” and a “mentor“. The relationship I have struck with these two people are absolutely the latter. If you’re really looking for a mentor, you ought to be looking for someone who is going to cultivate and inspire you. You need to be looking for someone that you can consider as a role model that you can you want to “emulate” if I can borrow that word. I am not saying that your friends cant do that for you – I am just saying that the way a mentor would advise you is very different from how a friend would.
Your mentor needs to know who you are.
Listen. I have heard people say things like my pastor/preacher/lecturer/singer is my mentor – but does s/he know your name? Who you are? What you do? Where you are from? Your kids names? (if applicable LOL)
Mentorship doesn’t work like that. If you want a mentor and want the relationship to work, that person needs to know who you are and keep you on track. They need to be able to call you up and say
“Hey, how is work going? How are your plans working out? What have you put in place to make this work?”
A person who you can only see through a TV screen or who you see just in passing, is not a mentor for you. You need to have that established relationship.
The “ONE” doesn’t exist.
So let me break it down further before I disappear off your screens again. In looking for a mentor, you need not restrict yourself to one person, because I genuinely don’t believe that a single person can fully fulfil the role of a mentor. It’s generally accepted that nobody is perfect, and if this is the case, you cannot actually expect to get it all from a single person. I think its quite healthy to actually be able to emulate bits and pieces from different people and then build on this to make yourself a better person. If you are able to master the art of time keeping from one, then you might not find that same thing in another, but that person may challenge you to master the art of paying attention to detail. Mix and match lol.
Think of it like a Yoruba boyfriend. When you’re in love, you think he is the one. Cos well, the boy is just bae and he treats you like a queen. Then you see his wedding pictures on Bella Naija on Instagram and realise this punk ass actually is not the one after all. But well, at least he took you out to really nice places for dinner while you were together.
I joke, I joke 🙂
Anyway, that about it for now. I promise, I will be back very very soon!
Peace and love guys!