There is so much that I love about the photo attached to this blog post. Not only is it a photo of one of my best friends, but it’s also one of my daughter’s best friends.
Cara took time out of her busy career to allow my daughter’s friend Daryn to come in and “shadow” her in the professional setting. Daryn will start education in Construction Management at the University of Northern Iowa in the fall of 2020. Since Cara works for the Sorella Group, which is a specialty contractor for interior finishes, it only made sense for me to introduce the two.
It is very human to be protective of your job and your career, but Daryn is more than 25 years behind Cara in terms of knowledge and experience. Protectionist tendencies will only hurt your business and career.
With this situation in mind, here is my advice for my younger friends:
• You only get what you want by going after what you want. I know you feel young, but start networking. Ask your parents who they know in your field of interest.
• Take initiative. “The early bird gets the worm.” Do research and determine what you need to do to start building your resume toward the career that you want.
• Watch your social media accounts. I know you’ve heard this before, but seriously . . . watch your social media accounts!
And here is advice for my colleagues (in the form of a series of questions):
• Who can you reach out to who is interested in your field of work?
• What knowledge and expertise have you accumulated during your career that you can share with others who are eager to learn?
• What are the things that you would like to learn by engaging in a mentoring relationship with somebody in your field of work?
• When you think about your legacy in terms of your career, what are the things that you think about? What are the things that you would like to think about?
“Passing the torch” is the natural order of the world, and that includes within the world of work and the employment marketplace. You should embrace “passing the torch.” You should not resist it, regardless of whether you’re the person passing it or you’re the one receiving it.
First of all, nobody knows everything. It can be tempting to believe that you do, and that’s a bias that can plague people regardless of their age and experience. (Author Oscar Wilde once said, “I am not young enough to know everything.”) Second, it can be personally and professionally satisfying to engage in a relationship with somebody within your chosen field and share knowledge and experiences.
This kind of relationship is NOT a waste of time. Far from it. It’s an investment, both in your future and in the future of another person.
So maybe you’re like Daryn, about to graduate and getting ready to start your career journey. Or perhaps you’re like Cara and you’ve been accumulating knowledge and expertise in the employment marketplace for many years.
Regardless, look for opportunities to invest in the future of another person. Because when you do, you won’t just be investing in them. You’ll be investing in yourself, as well.