Updated: Jan 4, 2019
I have come to realize that I am a people oriented individual ( fancy way to say 'peoples person')! My calling is to serve people! Why did it take me so long to figure that out? I have no idea! I have always found such a fulfillment in leading and guiding others to their goal! Even as a little girl, if I mastered something, I was so quick to share with someone else how I learned to master that task and how someone else could do it quicker!
I love learning and I love sharing my knowledge. This may be the reason that I excel in the area of networking! I feel like there is room for any and everyone to accomplish what they dream about! Who am I to discourage someone from reaching their goals? Which is why I started helping people in the area of career coaching and resume writing in the first place...
You heard me right! That's exactly what I call them! I'm sure you know at least one persons' career path that you have looked at, followed, and even aspired to be like at one point. You finally work up the courage to reach out to them and tell them how much you admire them and aspire to be successful in your own career journey. You then ask them, how did you do it? How do I do it? What courses or certifications do you recommend I take to prepare for my next step? Would you be willing to mentor me or recommend someone who can? The excitement and passion you had was quickly shot down with disappointment and shock! The courage you had was returned with dead silence or a look of detestation or annoyance!
I'm here to let you know, that you are not alone and I've been in your shoes! When I took my first role in human resources, I had no one locally who was willing to be a mentor to me! I was looked at as competition and local professionals I admired did not believe in sharing information with someone who had the potential to take their role. Why was I, a recent college graduate with no relatable work experience, a threat to a seasoned HR professional with 10-20 years of experience? Was it because he/she had gained his/her experience without obtaining a degree? Was it because no one guided them along their journey? Was it because they didn't have time for a quick 5 min. chat from time to time? Did no one ever give them a chance or mentor them?
Well, we all know the last question could not be true! Every time he/she was promoted, someone gave him/her a chance!
I was lucky! I had two people I could call to bounce ideas off of: My cousin in Texas who happened to be a seasoned HR professional and a Regional HR Manager that worked for my company at the time. Neither was familiar with TN law specifically, but were available when I had a question, or needed to vent, or could give insight when I wanted to make an altering decision in my career. Thank you Toni Horton and Barbara Youmans for being you!
The despair I faced at the beginning of my career only pushed me to learn more and network like crazy. It also inspired me to be like Mohandas Ghandi once said, " Be the change you wish to see in the world!" Anytime someone reached out to me, whether I knew them personally or not, I would always be willing to help or connect them with someone that could. This has lead me to having the opportunity to mentor over 20 individuals across the United States. And you know what, all of them are flourishing in their careers and not one of them has replaced me in either of my roles. Several of them have tried or have successfully recruited me into higher level roles and I have recruited some of them! Mentoring and networking is a give and take thing. I have learned just as much from them if not more than they have learned from me.
Those mentoring opportunities have lead to job opportunities, speaking engagements, opportunities to sit on advisory boards, and so much more! Don't block your blessings being selfish! There is more than enough room for all of us to be successful in our chosen endeavors! Succession planning is another word for giveback! I challenge everyone to be humble enough to remember what it took to get you where you are today. Reach back and help someone who looks up to you or someone who is longing to have something to aspire to.
I have decided to use my platform to launch this blog to do what I have been doing the past ten years, but to do so with a larger audience.
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