Now, Olaide tell us why she’s keen to pass on her learnings to the future workforce, and how she is using her Socius ‘giving back’ days to pay her knowledge forward.
As a mentor with the Girls Network, I am matched with a young woman in secondary school and via formal and informal routes, we share our experiences and challenges and figure out how we can support one another. Thanks to my ‘giving back’ days, I’m able to take time off work as needed to focus on my mentee and show up without distractions.
One of my biggest learnings is that sometimes you must fail to succeed!
This is particularly relevant to young people at the moment, with the recent announcement of exam results. As someone who achieved excellent grades at both GCSE and A-Level, I was stunned when I was challenged in my first year of university. I was disappointed that I didn’t pass with flying colours and that my perfectionism had been derailed. But what happened next changed the course of my future. That experience of failure forced me to rethink my degree, I changed my course in the second year and it resulted in me graduating with excellent grades and a focused plan for my future career.
Failing to succeed sounds like a contradiction? It is. I’ve had to re-programme my brain to embrace failing, failing fast, and most importantly, learning from my failures.
This is quite daunting advice for a 16-year-old who wants to excel in her career and in her own words “secure the bag”! She’s been brought up in a culture that teaches “you only get one chance to succeed” – thanks Britain’s Got Talent!
Todays Cancel Culture means that many young people now feel huge pressure to be perfect, and they fear that doing something wrong will result in them being cancelled!
Our time together is usually spent discussing the challenges she is facing – education, future career, friends, social life etc. and encouraging her to:
- make decisions
- acknowledge when something hasn’t worked and change course
- find a learning opportunity in everything – even when things don’t work out!
I have also channelled the sociologist in me and encouraged her to take a human-centred approach to everything; considering people and how your decisions can positively impact them.
As a mentor, I am certainly not the only person dishing out advice. I am in full learning mode too as I glean ideas from her about everything from new ways of learning to online research and make-up tips.
This two-way learning experience has been extremely beneficial to me and it warmed my heart recently when she said “I now understand why you say real estate is not just about buildings, it’s about people”.
Special thanks to the Girls Network for allowing me to join and take part. For more information, check www.thegirlsnetwork.org.uk