When I spoke at the Massachusetts Conference for Women back in December, one of the greatest parts of the experience was the chance to speak with so many millennials.
Whenever people in their twenties and thirties come up to me after a talk, two things happen. First, I’m thrilled because I think: They like me! I’m relevant! Second, I’m reminded just how much they have to teach me.
When they tell me what resonated with them in my presentation, or ask difficult questions about fitting in and adjusting to their work culture, I get new insight into what they’re dealing with—which is so different from my own experience. They’re coming up in a world where everything is constantly changing. They’re overloaded with information and trying to figure out how to live meaningful lives in the midst of a lot of upheaval. There’s a lot of existential worry, a lot of asking, “Where’s this all headed??” Talking to them reminds me to put myself in their shoes, and teaches me how to make my advice more relevant to their generation.
Meanwhile, their passion, enthusiasm, and hunger to grow is contagious. And their vocabulary—their ability to articulate complex concepts and ideas—is amazing. They really know how to talk about stuff! I walk away from every interaction energized and inspired.
So, I want to spend more time talking with millennials! That’s why, in honor of National Mentoring Month (which January happens to be), I’m launching Q&A with Vernā. Over the next few months, I’ll be choosing one young adult each month for a series of one-on-one conversations. You ask me your questions, I’ll answer the best I can. Sometimes all you need is that one new idea or perspective to help get you unstuck, or think about a challenge in a new way. I hope I can provide that.
And I know that I’ll get something out of these conversations, too.
A lot of people think of mentoring as a top-down process: The more experienced person instructs and advises the less experienced one. But I think a true mentoring relationship is mutually advantageous. It sharpens your awareness, and you have to get very focused on what you know and how to communicate it. You have to listen just as much as you talk. By the time you’re done, you’ve advanced your own understanding.
So, here’s the deal: Hit me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Reddit by February 6, 2018 and tell me what you’re doing to create inclusion and what you’d like to learn to advance your efforts. Make your case in in 280 characters or less and be sure to @VernāMyers and use #AskVernāQA.
I can’t wait to hear from you!