Graduation. It's one of the few occurrences that can truly conjure similar emotions both for a 5th grader and college student. I recently attended a 5th grade graduation and an undergraduate graduation within a few weeks. Both were warm events - happiness, excitement, fear, and uncertainty all rolling through students and their families. The stakes may be higher for undergrads, sure, but the emotions can be the same.
Those that are uncertain about their future will need mentors. That's our responsibility. The transfer of knowledge and thought is something that can be shared in this connected world. It takes many forms, and results may vary.
The more I think about what I do daily at Andson, or in any of my roles, I truly believe that awesome curriculum, awesome programs aside, it's all about mentoring. Mentor those around you - both clients and team - until it feels second nature. That is one of the best ways to achieve more from your team, to help them grow on their"tour of duty." No, they will not stay with you forever, that doesn't mean you shouldn't invest in them. At times this is easier said than done - we all get busy, but it's something we as leaders or managers or team members must commit to.
I've also encountered the new 6th grader and newly graduated adult within that following year. They look different than their earlier self, trying to fit in. Oftentimes they may be navigating new, uncomfortable waters. Surprisingly, middle school and job hunting may feel one in the same - discomforting. Discomfort is actually a great platform for growth and mentoring - one that is in discomfort in work/life will be more willing to seek new experiences and avenues.
I reflect back on those internal battles within my team when I force myself or someone else to learn the most efficient process, even if that first time takes far longer than the manual method, or the norm. But the reality is the pain of the first time makes work and life more efficient - at the end of the day better. That is what mentoring really is - taking the time, even if it takes longer, to make things invariably better.
We are going to have new 6th graders and new job candidates in these next few weeks. Make sure you are that mentor that they will remember and appreciate for years to come.
They deserve it.