When I joined the workforce in my teens, my mom had a piece of advice for me. “Dress for
the job you want, not the job you have.” Now, that may sound a bit old fashioned but back then it did make sense to me. “Seeing” someone in the role is often the first step for a hiring manager. My mother was mentoring me. She was being a guide. I wish I’d known that at the time because I thought she was mothering me, which has a totally different feel.
Her other piece of advice is one I have embraced fully. “ Learn from others’ mistakes.” I choose to interpret this in a positive way: Why waste time and energy when others have clearly marked the path as a dead end? They most certainly are sharing their blunder to warn others. “Don’t do what I did just now.”
Most humans enjoy helping others, sharing their knowledge and expertise. There are scores of organizations whose missions are to mentor and teach others. Business owners and managers have a multitude of options from professional coaches to CEO networking groups to volunteer organizations comprised of retired executives.
Its not just mentors that love to help someone find an easier path to success, sharing knowledge and hopefully, saving time, money, energy and heartache. Consider your consultants – accountant, attorney, publicist, sales, marketing, technology and yes, even human resources. We want to assist our clients in getting where they aspire to be; it feels good to know our expertise is helping in their success, otherwise what is the point?
Occasionally, I interact with people who are determined to forge the path completely by themselves. File their own business taxes, write their own business contracts, and create their own employee handbook. Maybe they had a bad experience with a consultant or think they can’t afford the price. Really, you can’t afford not to hire an expert. My plumber told me a good chunk of his business is fixing the pipes of the DIY homeowners. The worst time to figure out your proprietary information agreement has holes is when you are in the middle of a trial, trust me.
These same folks forging their own paths tend not to have teachers and mentors in their business (and personal) lives as well. Is it that they are just not into listening to the advice of others? Think they are smarter than the average entrepreneur?
Or maybe is it they are afraid to admit what they don’t know? My answer to that is the only stupid question is the one not asked.
Its not National Mentoring Month (that was January) and it’s not Teacher Appreciation Week (that’s in May) so I am going to deem this ValentineHR’s
“Grateful to the Guides” day because, without them we wouldn’t be here and we won’t get there.
We work with companies on a project basis or on retainer, providing a custom level of HR help designed for your business. Contact me at Caroline@valentinehr.com or call (512) 420-8267.