Older, But Not Wiser: We Are All Mentees

“Younger women give as much as they get, if not more.”

-Andrea Guendelman

In the traditional mentor and mentee model, the mentor is the older and wise contributor to the relationship. The mentee is usually younger, naive and open to learning as much as possible from the mentor. While there is nothing wrong with this traditional model of mentorship, it is limiting our learning opportunities!

Just because someone is younger, it doesn’t mean they don’t have something to teach us or that we can’t benefit from their knowledge. And how big are we to think we know more simply because of our age. So, let’s push pass these age limitations and open ourselves up to a dynamic, unbound mentorship relationship.

This is exactly what Andrea Guendelman spoke about during her Mentoring Moment for Forbes. She recalls how she formed a mentorship with a younger colleague who inspired her and taught her lessons she didn’t know she was missing. She shared these four lessons you can learn from a younger mentor:

  1. An understanding of a new generation
  2. New ways of thinking
  3. A sense of gratitude
  4. The need to up one’s game

And don’t forget, that just because we may be experienced or educated, there is still much we do not know. On another Mentoring Moment, Jenny Lefcourt shares this:

Many of us women dwell on our lack of knowledge or experience and convince ourselves that we are not ready for a promotion or that there is someone more qualified for a particular job. I’ve realized that the most qualified people are the ones who have the vision, passion and energy to pursue that vision.

So, if you are feeling in need of inspiration or guidance, look all around you for a positive mentor. Don’t let age be a barrier. We all have something to give and we all have something to learn.

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