As we move through our lives, we gather an abundance of knowledge and experience covering a myriad of areas. As we stop and reflect on all this knowledge, we may be struck with the desire to share with others our experiences and the knowledge we have gained. We know in our hearts that what we have gained in experience during our lives could be of benefit. So in possession of this knowledge and experience and with the desire to share it, where do we start?

How about Becoming a Mentor?

Mentoring has been around for a long time and has grown and evolved over the years. A mentoring relationship is one in which one person, often older, but always with more experience, guides another person’s development. Mentoring can be utilized in almost any area of life, and both the mentor and the one being mentored both realize lasting benefits

Most everyone has heard of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America, an incredible program matching adults with underprivileged children. The positive results experienced by the children participating in the program are truly impressive. This is only one area where mentoring has had proven results.

Where Are Mentors Needed?

Anyone having experience with a 12-step program will be familiar with the role of sponsorship and its importance to success in the program. A sponsor is a mentor, and a very important one at that, sharing his experience, strength, and hope for success in the given program of recovery. For anyone beginning in recovery, this special person can be just the lifeline the individual needs as he learns a new way to live. Where better to go for guidance in this completely new lifestyle than to someone who is already living it?

Teachers also have the opportunity to be mentors, encouraging students to reach for goals they may never have dreamed possible. Teachers, in particular, work so closely with children for so many hours of the day that they are given a wonderful chance to impact a child’s life in a favorable way. Many of us can look back fondly in remembrance of at least one teacher who had a lasting positive effect on our lives.

Some school systems have implemented mentoring programs for children, enlisting the help of adult volunteers. The results have been well documented, including increased school attendance, improved educational performance, confidence, and self-esteem. The adults have been given a priceless opportunity to influence a child’s life.

Business and the corporate environment have recognized the value of mentors and mentoring programs. In larger corporations a mentor will be assigned to incoming junior employees to give these newest members of the corporation the best possible start. Similar programs have been started in many schools to support new teachers coming into the educational system.

Any career path you are contemplating would be benefited by enlisting the guidance of a mentor, and many people already established in a certain career still work with a mentor to further themselves in their chosen fields. As a coach, I work with a mentor coach and find it an invaluable business and life resource.

With the increase of entrepreneurs forging ahead to start their own businesses, mentors will be in higher demand as their prior business experience and knowledge will be invaluable. The same holds true for any business owner targeting a niche market, where specific prior experience in a similar niche could influence success or failure.

As for the Person Contemplating Mentorship, What Can He Expect?

Mentoring is truly the gift of yourself that you share with another human being. It is a relationship you establish with the mentor in the place of more experience and the mentee the benefactor of your experience and guidance. Though at one time the mentor set the tone of the relationship, today, the mentee plays a more active role as to the direction the relationship will take, especially in the business world. In this relationship the mentee is aware of the areas in which he needs guidance in order to facilitate most effectively his career development.

Either way, both people truly benefit from this special relationship. The mentor will gain the pleasure of sharing her knowledge. She will also discover a new excitement surrounding the area in which she is serving as a mentor. When you observe someone else benefiting from your knowledge and experience, it is difficult not to feel a sense of pleasure and fulfillment. We all want to know we matter in this world, that we indeed have made a difference. Becoming a mentor is one of the great ways to have a positive impact on another human being.

Where Do You Get Started in Becoming a Mentor?

Take a look at what has excited you in your life. Where have you succeeded? Would this knowledge be useful to others? Do you prefer to work with adults or children? Would you like to work one-on-one, or would you like to work with larger audiences? Answering these questions will help you focus on where you would be of the greatest benefit.

Big Brothers and Big Sisters is always looking for volunteers to serve as mentors if working with children is your goal. In addition, there are many programs run on state or city levels. A phone call to your local school district will likely provide you with information as to any particular programs they may offer.

If you already work in a large corporation, check with the Human Resources department to see if they offer mentoring programs within the company. If you know of small businesses in a field that you have experience with, make yourself available. The Internet is a great place to start. There are many sites devoted to all types of mentoring. Business organizations are another good place to start. If you meet someone just starting in a field that you have experience in, step up and introduce yourself, and then offer your services as a mentor.

If you feel you would like to reach a greater number of people, consider your options. If you like to write, perhaps you can put your experience and knowledge on paper so it will reach a large segment of the population. Some of my most influential mentors are the ones I have found between the pages of a book. As I take in their experience, strength, and hope, I find myself applying it to my own life. Though our relationship has not been one-on-one, it has been of great benefit to me.

Once You Have Narrowed Your Options and Found a Place to Start, Jump In

As with many things in life, if you choose to change the venue in which you would like to serve as a mentor, you can always make the change. More importantly, get started somewhere; you have a gift that the world can benefit from. Do not keep it all to yourself—giving the gift of yourself as a mentor is one of the greatest gifts you can give, and what you will get back will exceed your expectations.

** This article is one of 101 great articles that were published in 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. To get complete details on “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life”, visit

Author's Bio: 

Maureen Staiano is a life coach specializing in working with women addressing all the wonderful challenges and transitions we face. Maureen lives with her husband Jim in western New Jersey, where they enjoy golf and travel as well spending time with the five children they share between them. Visit Maureen at