From time immemorial, mentors have been known to expedite the transition of newcomers into a desired field by careful nurturing of the said individual through knowledge transmission sessions that typically take anytime from months to years to achieve.
Areas where mentorship is needed can range from business-related concerns, academic, music, art to sporting programs. There is no limitation to the area one can be effectively mentored.
The concept of mentorship is based on the fact that because mentors typically have in-depth experience in certain areas, they are willing and able to share their experiences with a young mentee to get him or her quickly enough on their feet in life, so as to make a difference.
But in today’s knowledge-based economy where the average young person is exposed to an inordinate amount of information that can be accessed instantly on request, does the charm and mystery of acquiring a mentor still hold value?
From one on one masterclass sessions with the biggest names in any conceivable industry, from archery to literature, anyone can extract value today from the best minds in selected fields just by signing up to a virtual class that doesn’t involve you to be on a first name basis or comport yourself in an ‘acceptable manner’ so as to be deemed worthy of the highly elusive role of mentee.
YouTube as a resource is invaluable in learning virtually anything that your heart yearns for. This resource cuts across a spectrum of knowledge from mundane things like learning to whiten your teeth to terrifying tutorials like how to make a bomb.
Then there are the thousands of short form classes, mostly free, that come in handy when you want to learn a new skill or expand your knowledge in one; like Coursera, Udemy and the rest.
It isn’t out if place today to peer into an average persons CV and see under educational qualifications, online versions of schools that they attended to acquire skills like digital marketing, SEO writing and a range of managerial courses.
The question is, with the scores of resources available to young people today, is there a need to pursue a traditional mentor/mentee relationship to expand your knowledge in a sector when you can get the latest and most up to date information about that sector from your mobile phone at little or no cost.
Some people have argued that the one on one experience of knowing your mentor makes some kind of difference, but many people who have gone through mentorship have had little or no ‘one-on-one’ access to an intimate mentorship experience because of prevailing factors like time and location.
So, since mentorship thrives basically on the exchange of information and knowledge and people have been advised to solely follow a mentor’s line of work not their whole lives, the argument for mentorship in that regard is weak and doesn’t hold much water.
If access to premium information and experiences was the trump card that mentors held over aspiring mentees for years, then that hold in today’s world is virtually nonexistent as a result of a deluge of knowledge now available at our doorsteps.
So, the next time you cite the lack of a mentor as the reason you haven’t really advanced in that chosen endeavor, please look again because you might just be making one of your many legendary excuses.
You probably don’t really need a mentor.
This article was written by Henri ‘Yire; connect on Instagram with him here