It is a well-worn cliché by now to point out that although we are more connected than ever, we are also more isolated than ever. Just because it’s a cliché, however, doesn’t mean it’s not true. In an age where any services required are digitally accessible without the need for human interaction, and where most jobs involve spending a tremendous amount of time on a computer, we’ve lost a lot of traditional human warmth that helps us through our days.
If the person reading happens to be a member of the Millennial or Gen-Z cohorts – and they probably are if they’re reading this – then they know better than anyone else that too much screen time can fry the brain, and that budgeting time for face-to-face interactions can boost wellbeing.
21st Century Malaise
The younger generations are often accused of having it easy and not living up to their potential, but this is an erroneous perspective. Youth today face a difficult job market with very few opportunities for security and a world that is plagued by corrupt capitalism, severe climate change and extreme, pugnacious politics. Throw the constant chatter of digital media into this situation and there is a widespread epidemic of anxiety and self-doubt. In this context, it’s important to cultivate a positive attitude and stay grounded and focused.
The Search for Meaning
Without meaningful work to put energy into, it’s easy to succumb to anxiety from humanity’s perilous situation. Finding a fulfilling occupation – ideally one with human contact – gives the mind something tangible to focus on, preventing it from spinning around and around in vicious cycles. While online courses and job posting sites can be useful, there’s no substitute for finding a seasoned mentor in a chosen field to put things in perspective and help light the way.
The Value of Mentorship
Mentors are valuable for several reasons, the most crucial two, however, are that they offer a regular social outlet and help facilitate job opportunities. Some might argue that a person can find any guidance they need on YouTube or by reading up on the Internet, that meeting a mentor in person is a waste of time. This argument misses the crucial aspect of socializing, of feeling supported and developing a friendship outside of email. Approaching strangers can be stressful, but by attending career fairs and pursuing software design work at a tech fair, entertainment jobs at The CIE Tour or careers in fitness at a health and wellness expo, an attendee is guaranteed to meet people who can offer resources and guidance.
Taking the Leap
Because young people today tend to harbour a lot of free-floating anxiety, there can be a lot of resistance and psychological resistance when starting out on a new career path. A mentor can help calm these fears of failures with the reassurance that everyone is scared at first and that overcoming that discomfort is part of the process. There is a sense, in the 21st century, that we need to do everything on our own – this goes against human nature, it’s okay to accept a little help.
Hopefully this post will inspire a person to seek out the wisdom of a mentor, it could be a positive experience for both of them. Take the leap towards a meaningful career today!