Mentors Teach Life Lessons

About 10 months ago, I moved from Edmonton, Alberta to Toronto, Ontario. I gave up work that was steady, secure, and had the promise of promotions to pursue my dream of living in Toronto.

I will admit, there have been moments where the adjustment has been difficult. Before moving, I tried to make sure my expectations of the reality I was facing were realistic. I knew that being unemployed for the first little while would be difficult, especially because I’ve been working since I was 12 years old and have never gone more than 2 weeks without a job since.

I began working with Kary Osmond for her small business. It’s been just the two of us. Thankfully, we have a great dynamic. I provide structure to her creativity and help to turn her ideas into content for her site.

I was browsing my Twitter feed about a week ago and came across a series of tweets from a senior member of an ad agency, where I had been an intern. He was at a conference and the speaker was talking about the importance of mentorship for young professionals and how mentors teach the intangibles that school can’t prepare students for. I began thinking about my time with Kary and it dawned on me… she is my mentor. It was so obvious once I had my ‘aha!’ moment.   Our dynamic developed so organically that I hadn’t even noticed that she had taken a mentorship role with me.

I began thinking about other people in my professional life who have imparted their experience and insights onto me and I must admit, I’m embarrassed I didn’t realize their contributions to my professional ethos. My supervisor at the Government of Alberta taught me to never make a job the goal. A job should be a means to attain the goal. That has stuck with me, hindsight is how I realized it.

A lot of the lessons I learned from my mentors weren’t out in the field, they were over coffee discussing how careers progress and how to take advantage of opportunities. Hearing the stories of struggle and hard work reassured me that I am not in my boat alone and there are people who care about and are invested in my success.

As my generation struggles to get a solid footing in the workforce, I ask you to do one thing:  That sort of relationship takes time to develop, but it is worth every bit.

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