Being a mentor is as important as finding a mentor. If we aren’t actively engaged in helping others by sharing our own experiences and knowledge, why would we expect others to do the same for us? Many times, admins are hesitant to actively mentor others because they feel like sharing their knowledge with others could put themselves out of a job. This assumes a person’s knowledge base is static, though. If you’re committed to expanding your own knowledge and honing your skills, you will always have MORE to give and share.
As admins, it’s crucial that we overcome the scarcity mindset and embrace an abundance mentality when it comes to mentoring. We have to be willing to share our thoughts, experiences, and knowledge to help our fellow admins. We can’t hoard it and expect to grow ourselves. Over the years, I’ve found that the opportunities for career advancement and skills development increase when I approach things from the abundance mentality.
Office procedures are a great example of this. Some view creating procedures as a “replacement” for them and resist creating procedures because they don’t want to put their job at risk. I disagree. If a procedures binder can replace you, then you aren’t adding as much value as you should be. Procedures demonstrate that you truly have the best interests of your executive and company at heart. They also become undeniable proof of ALL that you do. Throughout my career, procedures have allowed me to step into other areas of responsibility and provided multiple opportunities for mentoring and leadership development…not to mention provided great relief for me and my substitute when I needed to take time away from the office. They’re priceless!
If you find yourself hesitant about mentoring others, I encourage you to learn something new. Read a book. Take a class. Attend a conference. Do this repeatedly. The more you learn, the more you have to share and the more comfortable you will become with sharing that same knowledge with others. You have to keep learning, no matter what stage you’re at in your career. The more you learn, the harder it will be for someone to replace you. The more you learn, the more valuable you become and the more opportunities you prepare yourself for beyond your current role!
In order to receive more, you have to give more. I’m always happy to share what I know with other admins. And I strongly encourage you to do the same! When you see someone has a need, help him or her. If you come back from a training session, type up your notes and share them to help others grow. This is how you become your office’s go-to person…and a better mentor.
Supporting your administrative success,