Using your experience to mentor others can be very rewarding
When I left a previous job, two things happened that made me feel good about the work I’d done there, even though I’d only been there a relatively short period of time.
Firstly, two people who worked for me in my client service team gave me a gift of a mug. On one side was a picture of the two of them with sad faces and the message ‘We’ll miss you’, and on the other side was a picture of the two of them with happy faces and the message ‘Good luck Rob’.
It was a lovely thought and in conversations with the pair of them on my final day it was clear that they were going to miss my calmness in the chaos of a busy, talented digital agency. They were going to miss my ability to put things into perspective for them so they could see the wood for the trees. They were going to miss my encouragement to put themselves out there and see what they could do. They would miss my experienced head supporting their enthusiastic youth.
Secondly, as I was departing my leaving drinks, a senior member of the agency team pulled me aside after seeing the tears from the two team members mentioned above and said ‘You see those two. You have a talent for guiding people. It’s rare. Keep doing it.” At the time I thanked them for what I assumed was Sauvignon Blanc fuelled gushiness, but I now know she meant it because I’ve seen it again in subsequent roles.
It’s this feeling of being able to support others in achieving their potential that has got me thinking about becoming a mentor.
I’ve reached the age where I’ve now got twenty plus years of work experience. I’ve sat through lots of meetings. I’ve worked with hundreds of people. I’ve helped deliver projects for small businesses with just a handful of employees through to multi-national brands with teams around the world. I’ve hired people, fired people, trained people, sold to people. I’ve been in businesses that have lost a third of their customers overnight and ones that have been bought out by international competitors. All this experience is great for me and for whoever I’m currently working with, but there’s probably a whole host of others who could benefit from some of it.
Can you think of someone who has mentored you in your career, whether explicitly or not? It could…