Point blank – there is no such thing as a “self-made man or woman.” The world is comprised of the hook up in some form or the other. When I was laid off of my job of 11 years in July of 2007, I participated in a program that helped newly unemployed people with resume’ writing, interviewing skills and other essential items to help a person get back on his/her feet career wise. One of the most astounding things I heard out of the several days of training, was the statistic that 85% of all jobs are given by reference or word of mouth. In other words, only 15% of people are hired by way of having an outstanding or attractive resume’. It only mattered 15% of the time how qualified I was per a job description. Realistically it’s even lower than that because how silly would I be to assume that of the thousands of applicants that apply to any given position, that I would be the only or the most qualified? Of the hundreds of jobs that I applied for in the first few months alone, how many recruiters actually saw my resume’? And job fairs… they are really a joke to be honest about it. But I digress.
The point is the world goes around via nepotism. That is something we all should understand. Everyday someone is playing golf, and one guy says to the other on the back 9, “Hey, so and so is graduating from college in a couple months, or is looking to leave his firm. What can you do for him?” Then BAM! It’s done. To a lower degree its like being a “made man” in the mafia. None of that budget stuff matters. Folks make room where they want, and deal with the how and why later. This is very natural to human nature. People like to be around folk they are comfortable with – and they hire on the basis thereof.
This is why we all need to take an active role in mentoring someone. Those of us who have been around a little bit, have valuable experience to lend to the generation that is behind us. And if you are blessed to be making a living, or living at least a portion of the life that you desire, no doubt you have received some help and favor along the way. Somewhere someone liked you, said something good about you, pointed you in the right direction, or simply threw you a bone to get started. It happens more than you know if you just take a look to count your blessings.
Not too many things are uglier in life than to see someone who received help, only to reach a certain level and act as if he/she made it on their own. All of a sudden this person is not compassionate and doesn’t have time to give someone a break. We all have made mistakes. Every last one of us working any job have at some point done something to deserve getting fired. Everyone of us who has a business have done something that could have put that business in jeopardy. Rules and laws only matter in the whole scheme of things at the discretion of those enforcing them. Sometimes our actions have caused us to suffer the consequences. And sometimes we have received some grace that allowed us to move past a potentially costly indiscretion.
So take the time to be a blessing to someone. Grant an opportunity. Give an apprenticeshipof some sort. Take someone under your wing. There are people who I know will look out for me. And will dial me up if there are certain opportunities to be had. In turn there are also others I look out for. I let them know to ask me any questions or come to me at any time with concerns. I hold nothing back. There is enough out here for everyone to survive and even thrive when we are truly wise enough to understand the laws of nepotism and are unselfish enough to give as much as we receive on an ongoing basis.
Mentoring and giving back are good for the soul, and great for the world.