Being a lifelong apprentice means looking for different mentors at different stages of your life. Starting out, you can learn a lot from someone who has a little experience, maybe only a couple of years, but as you continue to grow you should look to find new mentors to get you to the next level.
The first rule of being a good apprentice is finding great mentors.
What use is being shown great things if you aren’t willing to take them on? A great mentor is wasted on someone who is too egotistical to admit they know very little. Someone who believes they know everything is closed off and unwilling to learn, a good mentor is willing to listen and take lessons on board.
The second rule of being a good apprentice is being open to learning.
Once you learn the lessons your mentor has to teach, you have to move on. Without taking the next step, your learning will plateau and both your mentor and you gain little from spending more time together. You need to find the next mentor who can teach you new lessons and propel you to the next level.
The third rule of being a good apprentice is being able to recognise when it is time to move on.
There is a balancing act the apprentice needs to perform at all times. This act involves keeping the ego in check whilst also maintaining confidence and great levels of self-awareness. The apprentice’s ego needs to be firmly left at the door if they wish to gain anything from the relationship with their mentor. They also need to be willing to move on to a new mentor to continue learning. Mentors should accelerate the learning process and if things start to slow down, the apprentice needs know it is time to take the step and they need to be strong enough to take it.