I recently had a chat with a colleague and he asked what I plan to do in future when I leave the media; that time will certainly come, problem is each time I try to think about it I find myself stuck. Why is it hard for many of us to think and plan for the future? I have met several people that did so well, held big positions and earned hefty salaries, but when they lost that, they struggled as if they never had it before. It is imperative that we live today as we plan for the future, there’s a common saying, ‘failure to plan is a plan to fail’.
In that chat with Alex I was reminded of a mentorship programme I started in 2018, sounds like a crazy future plan because I haven’t even seen how it will bring in money, at least not that fast.
The future from where I stand today is beckoning me to make this mentorship thing official.
Back in the day when I wished to join the media, professional media people were rare, scarce and quite inaccessible. We would hear them on radio and see them on TV with no hope of ever meeting, especially for someone like me who lived upcountry. There were no mobile phones, no social media, and the few people that owned landlines would not allow one to call a radio station.
Today after spending many years in media, I feel like the greatest gift I can offer the younger generation or anyone for that matter is a piece of myself. We read books and people’s biographies and there’s a lot we learn from them. We may not all be able to write books but we can certainly create time and visit a school or college and share our experiences, as well as lessons learnt to make other people better. When I look back, I feel bad that I went to a school where the closest we came to career guidance was when answering the question of what we wanted to become in future, schools did not take advantage of that information to invited doctors, presenters or engineers to give a pep talk. Teachers walked back to the staffroom and that was the end of it.
The aim of mentorship, for example, is for someone to compress all their years and in one or several sittings break it down for someone interested, in order to save that person from going through the exact same process of learning as that of the mentor. For a young person, it will help them make clear choices of what career to pursue, those of us born before computer—pun intended—missed an opportunity to figure out a career path early and a chance to grow skills because there was limited or no access to someone in the particular field we wanted to pursue. A lot of us were not that privileged.
Today because of social media I am not ‘hidden’ like the people I looked up to years ago. We can interact on different platforms and exchange knowledge; there can never be a better time to live, share and build each other.Follow https://twitter.com/@JackieLumbasi