October 28, 2011

investing in someone else's success

If you're all about being positive (like I am), you will most likely share my belief that it is very rewarding to give to others. And while there are many ways to give, you can also do it in your professional capacity by sharing whatever knowledge you already have.

We tend to think that we need to be rich first in order to give something to the poor. Similarly, I used to think that I will need to be an expert in my field before I can start mentoring or coaching. But the truth is that whatever I have in my hands, right now, can add great value to someone else's growth.

I have decided to start investing in the success of others, here's how:

  • Mentoring: Even though I am still young, there will always be someone younger an less experienced than me, and I happen to know someone in my community who is currently studying towards an honours degree in Human Resources. I remember all the work-related questions I used to have when I was still studying, and how clueless I felt in my first real job. So (similar to my bi-weekly meetings with my own manager) I offered to check in with this eager newbie once a month for a career chat. Without it being my intention, it has evolved into a mentoring relationship and is proving to be very valuable for both of us. Knowing that I can help someone make informed career decisions is a very rewarding experience, and all I need to do is be available and invest a little bit of time every now and then.
  • Blogging: By writing about the lessons I learn, I can keep track of how I'm progressing and growing, both as a professional and as a person. Some work related lessons can be valuable life lessons (and vice versa), and small changes I make in my career can change my job satisfaction and success in big ways. So by sharing what I learn, hopefully I can also inspire others. I like to compare my learning to a dam, with one stream coming in and another flowing out. If I were to keep everything I learn to myself it would be like closing off the outgoing stream, and the water would become stagnant and just plain smelly ☺.

Have you ever considered mentoring someone even though you might still be at an early stage in your career? For those of you who are in need of someone to invest in your career growth, here's a post on how to find a mentor.

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