Daniel-san had Mr. Miyagi, Harry Potter had Dumbledore, Luke Skywalker had Yoda, and if you ask me, there’s a lot of truth to be found in the old wise mentor movie trope. From November 2021 through to December 2022, I shadowed senior team members here at Collective Content. I can’t pull off a cool crane kick or use the force, but the value I’ve gained from this time has been immeasurable.
Switching full time from working in admin and customer service roles to a creative career seemed less and less of a possibility to me as I approached my 30s. Most of my experience in content creation had been from projects I had carried out by myself, with friends and independent acts for little to no pay.
Becoming an apprentice for Collective Content was the first time I found myself in a viable avenue towards achieving my career passion of content creation. And shadowing a team of writers with, on average, 20+ years’ experience each was far more than I deemed possible.
With weekly team calls, 1-2-1 sessions, in-person events and constant collaboration, there were so many opportunities to accrue a wealth of industry knowledge under the guidance of a master of the craft.
Every few months, I would be assigned to a member of the team, gaining business insight and knowledge as well as multimedia experience, sometimes simply from an in-depth discussion with my mentor on how they would be tackling their work for the week.
A good mentorship doesn’t tell you necessarily what to do, but how.
Without seeing how industry professionals operated, I’d probably be throwing my hands out, feeling my way through my career as if someone had turned out the lights.
Witnessing how each person handled creating various types of content for multiple clients at a time, hearing about their experiences, opinions, styles and their advice and feedback for projects I worked on all offered an invaluable guiding hand to help me navigate my own path.
It afforded me the time that I vitally needed to build a better understanding of the business, figure out where my skills and goals aligned and how to best build upon my potential.
From my experience, ‘Mentor and Pupil’ isn’t just some feel-good underdog storytelling device, and is more than an organisational business strategy.
Without sounding too Disney Channel here, I had reached a point in my life where my fire for content creation had dwindled, and over the course of my time here at Collective Content, every experience and interaction, and each mentor, has managed to stoke and fan that flame.
I now have the opportunity and, somewhat more importantly, the confidence to drive towards the career goal I initially set out to achieve. And one day I will hopefully be in a position to pass that on to someone else in a similar situation.
When you take note of everything you learn along the way and acknowledge the influence and guidance you’ve gained from your peers, by the end of it all you’ll realise your potential has grown stronger than you could have ever possibly imagined.