When you look at the most common developmental pathway for those who live highly fulfilled lives, you will notice at least one “red thread” common theme: every successful professional is helped by a lineage of Mentors along their Journey.
There is a reason why so many experts, elite athletes, musicians, and other high-performance people talk about how they “stand on the shoulders of Giants”. It is because they do!
In saying this, the best kind of counseling ensures your child will find their next “Giant”.
Parents are increasingly understanding that getting your kid into college or a vocational training program is a hollow victory. The reason is there are literally over 1000 careers that need to be chosen from and over 300 majors offered in most colleges. In other words, getting your kid into college is like dropping your kid off at a bus station with no ticket to any specific place in mind. College counselors not uncommonly have 300 to 500 students and can only provide assistance with academic course selection. This is in stark contrast to what I call Personalized Career Matching.
After counseling 1000’s of people over the last 15 years, I have noticed that the more Mentors a person develops deep relationships with, the more enriched that person tends to end up being and the more accurate their career decisions need to be. Here is a story of a student I mentored who discussed the hollow feeling of being a college student today.
In this blog, my focus is to help you understand how to help the young people in your life find their first Giant.
The problem is a very large majority of adolescents have trouble finding the exact kind of mentor they need to address the particular questions and challenges they currently face. We can all recall moments in life when we met people who could have helped us much more if we were at a different developmental stage. The timing was off…
Finding the right kind of Mentor or counselor, who can provide the specific advice critically relevant to the current pressing challenges, can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
My experience as a counselor and mentor to adolescents, young adults, and older folks, is that the critical first step to finding a long lineage of facilitative counselors or mentors and to first accurately identify a deeply intentional vocational or career direction. What I mean by “deeply intentional” is the direction is based on deep self-awareness, where the seeker of knowledge and wisdom first puts themselves through a process whereby they very confidently choose the basic navigational point.
As I have helped adolescents and young adults find a basic navigational point, suddenly we have together been able to identify mentors that vastly accelerate the growth of the counseled person.
The most important thing you can do as a parent or teacher or coach is to remind the adolescent or young adult that they need to find a credible person who can ensure that they turn themselves “inside out”, so that they decide on a direction using the most advanced GPS system. Or in this case, what I call the most advanced Great People Science (GPS).
All Great Journeys start with a first step, and a First Mentor. But not just any step or any Mentor.
The most important First Step and First Mentor…
…is someone who helps a child get a comprehensive understanding of themselves such that they come to clearly identify their Career Sweet Spot; where their passions, talents, natural aptitudes, environmental preferences, and economic goals all intersect. That is a discoverable place, but it is not an easy place to find.
It takes a rigorously systematic, deeply methodological, multistage process used by someone who is a Human Science expert. Generic career tests that produce reams of lists of jobs are useless.
We all wish for the best returns on our investments in our retirement portfolios. Meanwhile, I am getting an increasing amount of calls from parents who realize the best return on their parenting investment is to ensure their child goes through this kind of process with me.