Sunday, January 8, 2012

Say Yes to Mentees at Work (and on LinkedIn!)

At the beginning of my HR career, as I laid off many discouraged Aerospace employees weekly, I discovered that I loved giving them career and job search feedback.  It was like practicing Reiki:  I was equally energized at the end of a conversation inspiring them to try something new in their job search or their career, based on what I learned about their talents / interests.  When that ignition conversation produced results for my clients:  wow, that was great.

It energized me so much that I approached a Ph.D organizational effectiveness consultant hired by my company at that time to ensure that we maximized our restructuring / layoff efforts.  I explained to him what I just explained to you above, and I asked him what type of training / education I could pursue to develop and follow my newly discovered vocational bliss.  He barely made eye contact with me.  "I don't know what to tell you," he answered, distracted and disinterested.  I was momentarily discouraged, and not at all impressed.  I followed my bliss and found my way anyway.  It was just another instance of whistling in the dark along my career path and following my instincts, which are usually spot on.

This past week, I received a LinkedIn message from a young man named Daniel who is as passionate about Corporate Recruitment and Change Management as I am.  He wanted to speak to someone who shared his vocational interests and who was farther along in their career.  Apparently, his manager did a LinkedIn search and came up with my profile, particularly since I indicate on my LinkedIn profile that I'm open to expertise requests.  So naturally, I said yes to Daniel.  We set up a time to talk, and I offered to share my experience, strength and hope.

Daniel is enthusiastic, talented and lucky to work for an organization that encourages his high level of engagement and personal vocational vision. As with the vast majority of the mentees who seek me out, I validated and verified the treasures that are already there, some recognized and some unrecognized.  Like Glinda (The Good Witch), I shine the light on the ruby slippers and delight in their joy that the answers were always there.  And in return, I am once again energized and renewed.  I learn as much, if not more, from my mentees as they do from me.  And Daniel, my first mentee via LinkedIn, was no exception.

Thank you, Daniel. 

Keep saying "yes!"

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