A frequently asked question during my mentoring sessions is:
” Vignesh, why do you spend your weekend mentoring people like me. What do you get out of this?”
It comes as a surprise to the mentee when I say that I also learn a lot from them during the process.
Here is an example of what I learned from a bright young girl whom I spoke to a couple of weeks back.
She passed out from one of the illustrious engineering colleges in India and had recently resigned from her job. She was preparing for higher studies and was planning to explore career options both within and outside India.
As we went through the introductions and I got to know more about her, I was curious as to why she left a very high-paying job at one of the leading companies that every youngster (well even experienced folks like me) would love to be associated with.
Her answer blew my mind:
“Vignesh, I was always clear about what I wanted to do in life. The job I had taken after engineering helped me clear my education loan. I knew that the job that I was doing would not take me to my goal. So the moment I cleared my loan, I put down my papers and over the past few months I have got back time to focus on my actual goals and not workday goals !!!”
There was a moment of silence and both of us had a good laugh on the “Workday Goals” point.
I felt for a moment that I should become her mentee – to understand how she built this attitude at such a young age.
At 41, I got mentored by a 24-year-old to learn to take more risks and follow my lifetime goals. This for me is the real reason why I do not mind spending my weekends mentoring !!!