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Mentorship for Building the Next Generation

Importance of mentoring

9.00 AM Monday / October 12, 2015

Ever since the ‘faithful and wise’ mentor of King Odysseus was contrived by Greek poet Homer, mentors have formed and directed the way for many budding leaders from the legendary King Arthur onwards.

Mentors and their protégés have shaped the evolution of science, arts and philosophy since the beginning of history and have paved the way to new inventions and creations. While there are mentors and protégés in every section of modern world from science, arts and letters, military to professional sports, the importance of mentorship in technologies and corporate world is yet to be fully appreciated.

In his celebrated work ‘Seasons of Man’s life’ psychologist David J Levinson describes the importance of mentoring and mentorship as an essential part in adult’s life cycle development. While a mentor can smooth the way for many young students and encourage students to keep focused, they can do miracles for a promising career in business and technology.

A mentor can help a young protégé or a mentee set career goals and take steps to realize them while assisting them in building up a professional network through his existing network of friends. Tapping into the wealth of information a mentor has gained during his career is most beneficial to a young mentee in gaining insights into the decision making tiers of the corporate world.

As a mentor has travelled a similar path as his mentee in gaining the career heights he has reached today, he can forewarn about the pitfalls to the junior who is plotting the same path. Are you facing a tricky situation at work? Or wondering which path to specialize in a post graduate training course? Here, a mentor can weigh in with his or her opinion to make a difference in your viewpoint.

In return, the mentor receives the mental satisfaction of knowing that he is single-handedly shaping the future of a young person who might change the cause of history like King Arthur did in historical legends.

According to Levinson, during the third season of a man’s life between the ages of 35-50 years having established himself in society and in a chosen profession,  humans seeks to share their gained wisdom and knowledge to gain social recognition, community respect and to give themselves a long lasting ego boost.

Although many young professionals and students pursuing higher education consider skills, their personality traits and pure luck as main contribution to their career and life success, long term research has found it to be otherwise. According to a long term research conducted by the Harvard Business Review, the relationship between meteoric career rises in corporate and technological sectors and direct mentoring and sponsorship can be established without much ado.

Although it’s a long standing practice in the west, the formal practice of mentoring young students and professionals is yet to become an established practice in Sri Lanka. While mentoring and sponsorship within universities and workplace exists up to some extent, each student is not given the opportunity to solicit and acquire mentors with a sound academic & professional background. With a view to filling in this gaping gap in Sri Lanka’s educational and professionals sectors, PACE Life and Career Enrichment Society has organised a platform for young students and professionals to receive mentorship, career guidance and career-related information to further their higher educational and professional spheres.

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