Throughout much of human history, formal education has been a difficult thing to come by for most people. It wasn’t until the 19th century, when public school systems and universities began to pop up, that formal degrees and diplomas signifying that a person has the skills and abilities to work in a particular profession became available.
Yet, there has always been a need to educate and pass on knowledge. Blacksmiths, carpenters and farmers have historically taken on apprentices, or taught their own children their craft so that knowledge and skills would continue on, and each community would ensure that there was at least one person who knew how to perform crucial functions.
The 21st century has spawned a generation that is one of the best educated in all of human history. But, as universities and high schools have taken over the role of formally educating and preparing students for the workplace, mentoring and apprenticeships have declined.
Education doesn’t equal experience. If you are a Boomer who is leaving the workforce soon, or beginning to prepare for your exit, you have an excellent opportunity to help secure your legacy by reviving the age-old tradition of passing skills and information along, by mentoring a younger colleague.
Do you have industry knowledge that could be helpful to university or high school students interested in your field? Look around you; are you in charge of training any of the newcomers to your company? Does your company offer any official opportunities to mentor? Right now, in your head, you possess one of the greatest assets for your company, for your industry, for your future…your experience! Don’t let that asset go to waste. Find a way to give back and help the next generation be as successful as you have been.
I’d love to hear from you. Use the comment section below to let me know how you’re giving back to the next generation. Are you mentoring with your company or professional affiliation? Are you passing on a family business to your children? Are you writing a book?
Remember, you can change…and we can help!