One of our African proverbs says, “What the elders see while sitting, the young ones standing on their toes won’t see.”
What is the importance of mentorship? The importance of looking up to someone who is more experienced or has gone before you?
Experience can be compared to wine, the more it ages, the finer it becomes.
There is knowledge in experience. Take a look at advertisements for senior jobs, most of them will require several years of experience. Why? Because there is mastery and authority in experience. Mastery that can be trusted. Mentorship allows you to tap into this pool of knowledge and wisdom. It gives you first hand interaction with ‘your future self’ and allows you to visualize your goals. It is an opportunity that allows you to create yourself in safe hands.
Technology is very dynamic. It is constantly changing. When you may be beginning to code in one language, another more powerful language is being rolled out. When you are beginning to get comfortable with local storage, cloud storage changes the whole market. When you are getting accustomed to iPhone 12, iPhone 13 is launched. Making decisions in this ever changing field therefore calls for guidance.
There are different specializations in technology. It is a broad field with variety of fields, to mention a few there is Networking, Cyber Security, Programming, Data bases, Data science, ERPs (Enterprise Resource Planning) Software, Digital marketing, Cloud computing among a myriad of others. It feels as though we are spoilt for choices in tech. This makes it exciting as well as confusing. It can be quite a task to identify which path to follow and how to become a master in it as well. Mentorship is as a light in the midst of the variety and diversity that makes navigation in the field easier.
“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” — Isaac Newton
Mentorship breeds accountability. With accountability comes Responsibility. This helps in making of better and informed decisions. Responsibility is a push to work and creates the need to deliver. Each working day is a learning day and an open door for growth and improvement. It allows us to own our journeys inclusive of our successes and failures, which are all working together to build us and prepare us for what the future holds.
Receiving and giving mentorship both grow courage. It is important to have courage and belief in self not only in tech related fields but in other fields as well. Bravery shows that you have overcome the fears and anxieties and have risen up to face any challenges presenting themselves. Tech is very skill based, and pitching who you are when need be, calls for you to step out and courageously present yourself. A mentor’s courage grows as they see the fruits of their guidance.
Mentorship gives you an upper hand. It saves your resources, time and money. It allows you to filter unnecessary noise, think logically as well as get to walk with someone else in your journey. Someone who is a cheerleader and a shoulder to lean on through the ups and downs.
I leave you with a line from Max Ehramann poem Desiderata – Words of Life, ‘Take kindly the counsel of the years’