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What I want to be when I grow up – Mentoring

I had a lovely moment over the weekend.

I was sat around the dining room table with my girlfriend, Sarah, and the two kids – having decided that we should all do a little creative thinking, as to what we wanted to be “when we grew up”. Now, to be fair, Sarah and I are a little bit grown up (in real terms at least, although there are times you would not know this) – but I always wanted to have some thoughts jotted down, to be opened at some point in the future. In our case we settled for the comparable date in twenty years time – much to the dismay of my daughter who reminded me that at that time I would be 55…..hhhmmmm, seemed like a good idea at the time.

Of course, having played along to this point, my daughter signed the now sealed envelope agreeing to this with the words “Jordana did not want to sign, but daddy was getting upset”

A couple of things I learnt from this fun exercise.

My son wants to have seven kids
Call at least two of them Sonic and Luigi
He wants to be either a hairdresser or builder, and
He wants to marry at 55

My daughter wants four children
Likes the name Zoe
Hates maths, and
Has named someone in her class she would like to marry – only time will tell on that one

Sarah and I were able to be a little more “when we were kids” for our answers – but that is for another time.

The whole experience was really very cute, and just to see the concentration on my sons face when he was thinking about his answers, was a picture – and the whole exercise did get me thinking…..

When I was younger, I didn’t have any idea of what I wanted to do, what I wanted to be. I owe a lot to one individual who gave me chance based on very little experience, and, believing in me, allowed me to develop into the events manager I am today. How though, do you ever know if “it is for you” and in the event that you have been lucky enough to end up in a career that you love, how do you help others realise their own dream?

I can say this. I started my working life doing something completely different to what I do now. Things change, life changes, and it can take a long time to really end up doing something that you love. In some way too, that is the point. We all spend so much time at work, that to be doing a job you don’t love can be extremely difficult. I would never limit your options or say “never” as I can assure you that you never really can tell what lies around the next corner.

As for the mentoring. People move on. As a manager, you need to ensure that you give your team the tools they need, so that when they do move, they carry with them their experiences, and reflect on their past in a positive way. There is nothing better for me, when having moved on, my old team members remain in contact, and call on me still when they need assistance. I see it as a great compliment and am very proud of them.

How do you make sure that you continue to guide and mentor your teams?


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