We talk a lot at 4word about the value and necessity of having mentors in your life, but that’s really only one half of the mentoring equation.
Are you actively mentoring someone right now?
If not, then now is the time to consider it.
No matter where you are in your life or career, you have valuable experience and perspective to offer those coming behind you, and there’s always someone coming behind. Even if you are navigating your very first job, you have insight to offer a career-minded college student.
You should mentor because it is Biblically exhorted. The Bible doesn’t use any of the modern mentoring terminology that we’re used to, but there are countless examples of mentoring relationships that yield great fruit. Additionally, there are verses that touch on mentoring-type activities. For example, in Titus 2, Paul lays out a model where wise and reverent women train and encourage those who are younger and less experienced. In Hebrews 3:13, we are called to “encourage each other daily,” and Psalm 145:4 charges each generation to “commend [God’s] works to another” and to “declare [God’s] mighty acts.” We can carry this Biblical mentoring model right into our workplace. Doing so is one excellent way to meaningfully show Christ’s love and care to those around you.
You should mentor because it is good for women. Women have made great strides in the marketplace in recent decades, but problems persist. We continue to face a persistent wage gap in the United States, and although women and men tend to launch careers in roughly equal numbers, women burn out at much higher rates than men, leaving them drastically underrepresented in upper management. In order for women to turn these numbers around and make advances in the workplace, they need strong supportive mentorship at all levels. To be clear, I don’t believe that mentoring has to be gender specific. I’ve mentored and been mentored by men and I believe that men and women can mentor each other very effectively. But you can make a choice to serve the cause of all women, by investing in the life and career of a woman, and encouraging others to do so.
You should mentor because it’s good for business. Think about what mentoring does for the companies you work for. Most companies don’t have the resources to invest very much in effective training and career development of their young employees. Even if they did, effective mentoring can do more than any generalized training program. It’s a chance for young, promising employees to receive targeted, personal, one-on-one training, and for higher-level managers to maintain a connection and an exchange of ideas with those below them. By choosing to mentor, you serve your company’s present interests in a capable and engaged workforce, and you also help to set it up well for the future. Today’s new employee could be tomorrow’s CEO, especially if you are there to encourage and guide her.
Do you have time for this? It’s possible that you really don’t, and if you don’t, then it’s better to hold off. A frazzled, half-committed mentor really doesn’t do anyone much good. There have been times in my life when, in order to honor my top priorities of faith, family, and career, I did have to say “no” to mentoring. But before you decide you don’t have time, be sure to consider not only what mentoring might cost you in terms of time and energy, but also what it can provide. Mentoring isn’t just a one way street. Mentoring someone can be invigorating and exciting and life-breathing. God can use the relationship to stretch and grow you in ways you didn’t anticipate. I’ve learned some invaluable lessons and taken inspiration from mentees that I will forever be grateful for. I have learned grit from Lopez Lomong, fearlessness from Liz Bohannon, self awareness from Kellie Hill, and countless other lessons from other mentees.
That’s the true beauty of God’s plan for community and fellowship between generations. We all have lessons to learn and gifts to share.
Are you ready to get started?
Do you feel called to be a mentor? Are you looking for a mentor? The 4word Mentor Program is currently accepting applications for the upcoming fall session. Visit the Mentor Program website today and submit your online application by September 2, 2016!