7 Lessons Learned From Working With Mature Professionals
We Generation Y-ers often get caught up in our own fast-paced careers giving the impression that we’re entitled, know-it-all professionals coming to devour jobs from road weary baby boomers.
There is a lot to be said about mature professionals and sharing moments with them. Young professionals are afforded the opportunity to make a connection with someone who can offer sage advice or who can to take a rough and tough young professional and mentor them into the model professional.
I learned the following seven lessons from working with mature professionals including a CEO of a multinational corporation, a small business owner with an entrepreneurial spirit, a high-profile industry expert, and a few other executives, doctors, and retired business people with hope, help, and advice to give to Generation Y professionals like myself.
1. Knowledge What I love about working with mature professionals is that they know a lot about their field. They are aware of the inner workings of their industry and they know how to connect with key players and how to avoid time wasters.
Many mature professionals enjoy sharing their advice and global understanding of their industry. They have reached a point in their career where they feel they can teach younger professionals how to make the most of their career.
If you find a mature professional who is ready to share, plug in and tune into their advice. Their knowledge can save you from having to endure tough experiences and can help speed up your career advancement.
2. Passion The more specialized and experienced a mature professional is in their field, the more passion they exude. This passion is contagious. Channel the passion they exude into your work as well. Passionate people can easily spot other passionate people and if you’re lucky, they will take you under their wing.
3. Gaining Favor Fortunately, I’ve earned the favor of a few mature professionals who have taken it upon themselves to be a mentor offering training and insight into their private career lives. When this happens, young professional, learn earnestly.
If opportunities for growth are made available, you’re most likely the first person they’ll think of when extending perks and openings. Never take advantage of this favor. They can sense B.S. immediately and they will make sure you work even harder to redeem yourself.
4. Opportunities Mature professionals generally have a high work load and need support from time to time, this means opportunities for practice and growth opportunities. Take them.
You might have to do menial projects for them but just like the movie “Karate Kid” the lessons are learned in the minutia. Not to mention, if you make a mistake, they’re more willing to forgive and chalk errors up to a learning experience.
5. Introductions If you have the passion, the knowledge, and favor of a mature professional, this positive energy can translate into introductions to other successful, passionate, and interesting professionals who can help your career grow.
This means they trust you to not embarrass them and it publicly demonstrates their belief in you. They’re acting as the gate keeper to your industry success. This is your time to shine and show others what your mentor has taught you. Not only will you score points for your mentor, but you are earning the trust of your industry.
6. Self Understanding Mature professionals have a great sense of self understanding. They understand the value of their work and their role within their industry. They are confident in who they are and know how to act with others. They are the first to admit they don’t know everything and agree there is always room for improvement.
With self understanding comes the development of work place ethics, a professional personality, and our reputation. When we know who we are as professionals and what we can do for others, the better we can earn business and the trust of our colleagues and clientele.
7. Life Advice With self understanding comes wisdom for living. Mature professionals will encourage you to establish professional limitations and personal boundaries with which to build a worthy career.
If you have earned enough favor, they’ll even welcome you into their personal lives as a friend. When you’ve gotten this far, you’ve done pretty well for yourself. Just imagine that someday, you’ll be a mature professional with an abundance of advice, knowledge, and valuable experiences to share with a budding professional.
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