You may be thinking that I’m using my blog to recruit mentors for VocationVacations.  Not this time around.  

Instead, I want to encourage you to give back if you are a successful businessperson, entrepreneur, academic, healthcare provider, etc.  Mentor someone at your work.  Or in your community.  Mentor adults.  Mentor teenagers.  Mentor women.  Mentor men.  Doesn’t matter, just mentor!

Why?  Our country needs you.  Allow me to ever so briefly get on my soapbox.  Regardless of our political views and opinions, I think most would agree that our country needs some big-time revitalization.  This country needs people to give back without looking for something monetary in nature in return.  You’re not a not-for-profit so this doesn’t mean you should give 40 hours a week to mentoring an individual or group.  But, instead, think about what impact just five hours a week would make if you mentored a bright young individual at your company, organization, school, etc.  Don’t wait for them to ask you.  Offer yourself up!  They will be grateful.  

Call your favorite charity or not-for-profit that assists people who are struggling to stay afloat in this economy; or organizations that help teenagers coming-of-age; entrepreneurial associations; or an organization that assists retiring people find an “encore” career (quoting my pal Marc Freedman) in the areas in which our country needs assistance:  education, renewable/sustainable energy, not-for-profits, healthcare, and the list goes on.  Just do it.  Get out there.  Mentor!  You have so much to offer.  

If you’re gamefully employed, have money in the bank, have your health and are wildly passionate about what you do, I urge you to reach out and help.  Our country needs a shot in the arm.  It needs quality, passionate, POSITIVE-thinking people teaching and showing us the ropes to so many in so many different vocations.

Are you a successful IT Manager ?  Do you know how many not-for-profit operations managers could use some assistance in pro bono IT mentorship so they can learn how to make their systems run more efficiently without having to pay a consultant they can’t afford?

Are you an advertising executive who LOVES telling a client’s story?  Then reach out to your local high school and ask the business teacher (if the school even has one!) and see if he/she would like you to come in and teach a class or two.

Are you a successful female entrepreneur who “made it” because of a small cadre of sisterhood of friends and family who cheered you along in your business endeavor some years back?  It’s now your turn to give back.  Reach out to your local women’s entrepreneurial group or to SBA’s SCORE program and offer your entrepreneurial mentorship.

You get my point.

If you are successful, love what you do and have a spare hour (or five to ten) each week, then reach out and offer your expertise as a mentor.  Please become a mentor.  This country needs you more than ever.


Brian Kurth

Career Strategist, Founder of VocationVacations and Author of Test-Drive Your Dream Job:  A Step-By-Step Guide To Finding And Creating The Work You Love  – Hachette 2008.