Collection: Holistic Development Mentorship Programmes

Even though the term Mentorship originates from the Greek mythology, when Telemacus assigned his friend Mentor to take care and guide his son in his absence due to the war, it is clear that many nations, including the Africans, practised mentorship without labelling it as such. 

Many companies recruit future talent from the universities. There is an assumption that the university would have prepared the students for the world of work. Not all the universities have structured programmes and initiatives to prepare the students for the world of work. Some universities have Cooperative Education Departments that run Work-Integrated Learning (WIL). This is a form of mentorship on the go and it is based on the students' choice to register as WIL participants. The WIL Programme by its own nature is a Mentorship Programme on the go. It is a transition and therefore part of the student development journey. Hence it qualifies as a mentorship on the go.

On entering the world of work, one realizes that life can be too serious. One has been transitioning from one phase to another without realizing that the seriousness of life was rising. You are slowly left alone to take serious life decisions, but nobody talks to you about it. The assumption is that you are made aware. The reality is that all remain assumptions. The person defaults into auto pilot mode and everything depends on luck. Through our partnership with our mentees, their sponsors and/or employers we enable their development and growth. We believe that this phase in individuals' development must not be left to chances. It must be consciously planned for. That is our business case for making our mentorship services available to our clients.

In the world of work the reality always dawns on the entrants. It is an unforgiving world. It is in this phase that the individual starts questioning whether he/she has made good studies and career choices. Many entrants go into depression as they become disappointed with the new real life experiences. Until now they have been receiving rosy pictures. This is challenged for the first time. If the mentor is not attuned to the difficulties of this phase, the protégé is lost forever.

What is concerning is that very few professionals see a need to have a mentor that is informed by their life purpose. Many are caught napping when things do not go as expected. They find themselves reacting and in many cases the steps taken are misplaced.

A mentor will alert you, especially when everything seems to be happening smoothly and you are enjoying harmony. That is when you should be preparing for all the possibilities. This does not mean that we have to be paranoid. It is necessary to make our lives happen, rather than chasing after events when they have already happened. We must direct our lives as we wish them to be. There will be times when we do not succeed. But when we make a miss we will not fall far from our targets.

There comes a time when those who have entered the world of work realize that they are not meant to be employed but become entrepreneurs. Not all of us are meant to become employees. However, entrepreneurship qualities are difficult to confirm. You need a specialist entrepreneurship mentor to assist you in confirming whether you have what it takes to become self-employed or not. Transitioning from employment to entrepreneurship is a huge jump and requires mental strength. Often, such a decision requires consultation with your mirrors (close family members, etc.) who may not necessarily agree with your decision but will always support you. You need a strong conviction to implement such a decision. You will have to deliver success to win your mirrors over. You may become isolated and left alone in the process. If you are not strong you may lose close friends and mirrors.

Whether you are employed or a practicing entrepreneur, you will want to belong to a professional body, which could be a chamber of commerce and industry or a pure professional body. Such organizations have their own culture and expect you to fit in their practices too. Since you need to belong somewhere and network with like- minded professionals you will need to be mentored by a seasoned member of the professional organization.

You cannot always put your interests in front. This is the most important stage of your professional development. You must be seen to be driven by factors other than money. Mentorship at this stage is based on the higher purpose of life. You cannot gamble with it. A mentor must be a matured somebody who has already proven himself/herself beyond any doubt.

As you become the brand and opinion maker, you must play on the appropriate platforms. Among others you must consider writing opinion pieces in the form of articles, books, and public speaking. That means you are becoming the opinion maker, you are a master, and influencer. You are no longer pleading for the opportunity to make a contribution. You are a sought after subject matter expert. Your mentors are more of the source of reflection than telling you what to do. You are concerned about leaving the legacy that will inspire the generations after you. It is worth noting that even at this stage you still need mentorship on the go. This is to acknowledge that there will always be masters above you. That is the humility we must have and therefore encourage people in general not to ever believe that on their own they can make it in life. We are all qualified to be both mentors and mentees of others.

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