Why You Should be Mentoring Future HR Professionals

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This time of year is crazy busy for me. The Fall season is always for me. It’s the start of school and the college semester, and while I don’t have children myself yet or a student my schedule is still tied to the education season. September is not only the start of football, cooler weather, the return of all my favorite pumpkin themed eats, and my internal queue to get serious about holiday shopping (yup, I’m one of those early planner/shopper people) — but its time for me to start gearing up to kick off my HR mentoring program.   I partnered with my local SHRM chapter to start a mentoring program for HR students, recent grads, and new HR professionals last year and the results have been amazing.

I’m really passionate about developing people — but particularly the next generation of HR pros. You don’t need to start your own mentoring program to “give back.”

I wanted to share with you some of my reasons for mentoring new and aspiring HR folks – and maybe get others thinking about it and challenging you to get involved if not you’re not already.

  • They are our future and it’s an opportunity to help shape and influence it — and quite frankly to also be influenced.

  • Its a great way to give back to those who have mentored and coached me along the way during my own career.

  • I wish I had some of these programs and resources when I first started out – to be fair, I am the “accidental” HR careerist, so in the beginning I didn’t know to even look for HR mentoring or new professional programs. However, about 5 years into my working career, I found people who started to invest their time in me which helped me as the professional I am today.

  • You get what you give in that it does take time but I get so much out of it too — mentorship and participating in these programs help develop me too.

  • Developing someone as a mentor or colleague is different than doing so for someone who directly reports to you — and is just as rewarding.

  • Mentoring keeps me on my toes and pushes me to be a better HR professional — I’m staying on top of trends, research, best practices, and  networking to be resourceful for my mentees, but all that directly benefits me too.

  • Sharing is caring – you have the opportunity to help the next generation of HR learn, but also avoid some of the mistakes that you may have made — or offer a different perspective by sharing your wisdom.

  • Building and cultivating great relationships that may last well beyond a mentoring program.

  • It’s fun!

It does take time and its a lot of work — but I enjoy it. Mentoring is a two way street so I make the time for it. The truth is, we’re all busy. Time is one of my important resources — and its the truth for you too. Its the one thing that there never seems to be enough of.  For me, mentoring and getting involved with new HR pros with the current program, fits with my current schedule and priorities with where I am in life and career right now. The truth is, this changes for all of us all the time. Find what works for you and where you are now. There are so many ways to get involved with the next gen of HR from being a mentor to being open to having a coffee (or for me a smoothie) with someone who is new to HR or is looking to get into it. You can share resources, make an introduction, talk during a student SHRM chapter … really the possibilities are endless. Take the time to connect with others in the HR community — especially those are getting started and coming up in their HR careers.

What do you think? Is it worth your time the time to get involved with new HR pros? Have any ideas to share on how to get plugged in depending on your level of time commitment?

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