I am knee deep in mentoring programs at the University of Toronto at the moment. Discovering them, being part of some, helping to promote others. If ever there was a high value use of Boomer experience and wisdom, it’s mentoring.
I’ve been doing formal and informal mentoring for years. Sometimes with a career focus, other times an entrepreneurial focus and the rest are usually helping with self discovery. I always considered it a duty as I had been helped greatly and so it is my turn to help others.
Mentoring or being a mentor or having a mentor became the popular label 10-15 years ago for a basket of characteristics and offerings that has been around forever.
Listening, being a sounding board, helping to evaluate choices or ideas, sharing experience, offering advice, and opening your connections are just some of things you do as a mentor.
While mentoring is usually a one on one activity, you can mentor a group or team as well. Mentorship programs are present at high schools, universities/colleges, in the workplace and in community groups. These are not necessarily life long responsibilities. They can be as short as one session or as long as you wish. Courtesy of technology they can be long distance by email or Skype or they can be in person over a cup of coffee.
So if you’re looking for something meaningful to do, just Google “mentorship” and your town and see what you find. Or start by contacting the alumni organization at your university or college and see if they have a program that needs your help.