Mark Twain once imagined how life would be “infinitely happier if he could be born at the age of 80 and gradually approach 18.” Here’s how you can do it…
If you’re over 40, serve as a mentor. Bring the wisdom of your years to a younger intern pursuing a fresh career. Then take it a step further. Consider what happens when a mentor simultaneously learns as an intern. You approach 18! I call this adventurous individual a ‘Mentern’ (mentor intern) – one who shares lifelong wisdom with younger individuals while opening themselves to acquire new skills from those brimming with the latest university training and knowledge. For an experienced professional, it’s a time saving best of both worlds.
We’re all blisteringly busy keeping up with today’s tasks while navigating change across multiple levels, from technology trends to social shifts to meaningful ways of advancing ourselves.We’re all blisteringly busy, keeping up with today’s tasks while navigating change across multiple levels – from technology trends to social shifts to meaningful ways of advancing ourselves. Time is of the essence.
Think of the yin-yang satisfaction in mentoring while awakening to fresh thinking with live coaching. One day a week, even just a couple of hours a week you’re sharpening the saw on both sides. You’ll let go to engage with a formerly mysterious computer application, begin grasping esoteric code authoring, or edit a video sequence with newfound empathy for an editor. Perhaps you’ll create within a virtual reality environment – resulting in a 3D print while being mentored by an intern who knows clever shortcuts. Increased awareness elevates your team value.
My past decade interacting with Millennials & Gen X’ers has graphically shown me the value of learning from up-and-coming visionaries; those who have not only grown up with advanced technology but possess sparks of undaunted innovation to materialize unforeseen tools, processes, businesses, even industries. These mavericks expand our idea universe. While not yet masters of their own universe, the combination of your applied mentor wisdom mixed with intern perspectives is powerful alternative when contemplating a career switch or going back to college.
Many of today’s mentors are Baby Boomers – an earlier ‘Innovation Generation’ spanning the first-wave of the tech groundbreaking 1950s and Space Age 1960s. Millennials and Boomers are a mesmerizing match in the world today.
Give it a try. Internships are not exclusive to newly graduated college students. We upgrade our software, change our auto oil and joyously try new restaurants. How often do we update the foundational basis of the beliefs driving our actions, and thus – our life ahead?
Generational richness rises from shared observation and participation. Seems Mr. Twain was on to something!