Career lesson 18 is about to be the hardest for some of y’all.
I understand why you may think you know it all, you just graduated with your degree. You passed all your classes and got A’s on all your projects. You studied all the HR legal cases and you memorized the “steps to recruiting” and maybe even competed in a SHRM Case Study competition.
You probably don’t know everything about where you just started working though. You may know case-law and how to plot compensation, but you don’t know why the organization does things the way they do.
You don’t know what it’s like yet to be the benefits manager and sit with employees going through medical trauma who need your help understanding the benefits plan.
You don’t know what hiring managers needs are yet because you don’t know what they do yet.
You don’t know how to run an HR department yet, because you haven’t learned the business yet.
So for today, listen. Take notes. Ask questions.
You can have great ideas all by yourself, but you can’t always be great all by yourself.
Everyone needs a mentor. I need a mentor because I’m the blunt friend/co-worker/employee and I’ve found that it’s very hard to find someone to be blunt with you when you’re the blunt friend/co-worker/employee. Its’ fine, it’s just the way the world works.
What you can get instead is a mentor. I find that mentors are more willing to give it to you straight and set you back on the right path.
Find you a mentor.
Don’t wait for a company to assign you one as a new hire, find your own. Your mentor should be someone you aspire to be like or value. They should be someone who is an example of what/who you would like to be like. Strong mentor/mentee relationships are the ones that are grown organically, not the ones paired up through a program.
Be honest with your mentors.
Don’t paint stories of work challenges in a way that make you look more favorable than you actually were. Mentors can’t help you correct if you don’t tell the whole truth. The reason you have a mentor is to be better, so don’t cover up the ugly.
Listen to your mentors.
Didn’t you choose your mentor for a reason? You don’t have to do everything they say, but listen to what they share. You can’t take your professional development to the next level without perspective.
Mentors aren’t always forever.
Like many other relationships sometimes mentors are only for a season. Don’t ignore the signs to move on.
In 2019, find you two mentors. Find people who will be excited to help you be great.