Do not reject them, direct them

06 September 2019 | Columns

Chaze Nalisa

Many graduates are being released into a rather daunting and economically wearisome environment, where a lack of employment in industries is the order of the day. Finding employment within the first year or two after graduation has never been an easy process for most people. This is even truer in today’s dwindling economy, which is seeing more and more retrenchments with the crack of each new day.

As a human resources (HR) consultant, I have been approached by hundreds of young people seeking employment or at the very least internships (without pay), because “all I want to do is keep busy and not sit around doing nothing”. I applaud people with such an attitude, but there are others who are still not ready to take a different route to employment than the traditional one that many others, in a once favorable economy, were fortunate enough to take.

A few weeks ago, I was approached by a young lady that recently graduated from one of our local universities. She informed me that she was seeking an internship. I told her there was no internship available, at which point I expected her to say “thank you”, turn back towards the door and leave. However, she did the opposite.

She first smiled, gestured at a chair next to her and asked me if she could have a seat. I may have frowned a little; not in anger, but with curiosity about what it was she wanted to discuss that required her to sit down. I politely allowed her to have a seat and placed my hands on the table, while leaning towards her, as if to prompt her to speak. She smiled and said: “Madam (not my favourite salutation) Chaze, your LinkedIn posts are very motivating. I read them all the time. You are the right person to mentor me.”

At the time, I must say, I was flattered, but I was immediately overwhelmed by the thought of mentoring her. My extremely busy schedule was at the forefront of my thoughts and concerns. However, I decided to be even more polite and asked her what she wanted mentorship in.

Her face instantly lit up, because in her mind the question implied that I had already agreed, which I had not (yet). As she started to take me through the list of things she wanted me to mentor her in, while referencing why she believed I was the right person to expose her to them, I started to have flashbacks of myself in her position, not too long ago.

I immediately felt a deep sense of responsibility in contributing towards this young lady’s potential and success. In that same moment, I recalled a meme that I recently came across. It said: “Be the person you needed when you were an amateur.”

I realised if there was ever a turning point in my own career, it was in that moment. I further realised that it takes nothing else but a few hours in a month to add greatness to my own industry. That is exactly how I view mentorship; it is about adding more greatness and spreading skills to others. Mind you, it was not the first time I mentored someone; there was just something different about this request, something more profound. Although the young lady came for an internship, hoping for a job, she tried her luck by asking for mentorship instead, which she was successful at.

She did not give up because of ‘rejection’; she sought direction (and guidance). Imagine if experienced people out there took the time to offer others some direction, as they walk a path that someone with experience has already walked. Do not reject them, rather direct (mentor) them.

I also want to encourage young graduates and professionals that when you approach people for assistance, approach them with solutions and don’t just dish out your problems to them, while expecting them to fix them for you. Although we are facing challenging times, the opportunities are plenty.

Be the person you needed when you were an amateur, because in some places and situations you are still an amateur, and may need direction too.

Similar News


Taking the employee experience to the next level

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Columns

Jimi HillGone are the days where pay was pretty much the main factor in deciding where your next gig/job would be. The employee experience has...

A fish rots from the head

4 days ago - 14 November 2019 | Columns

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes,” Mark Twain once said.In the end, truth will...

Voting on empty bellies

5 days ago - 13 November 2019 | Columns

Three children have died from malnutrition at Amarika in the Omusati Region during the past three months, while an investigation by Namibian Sun has found...

Spare a thought for students

6 days ago - 12 November 2019 | Columns

Namibians students have been greatly unhappy this year. And seemingly, no one has been listening. In fact we wonder if those at whom the student...

Dealing with indecision

6 days ago - 12 November 2019 | Columns

Evany van Wyk I have always been and will continue to be honest about my utter inability to make a decision. It’s something that just...

We need to embrace the Cloud

1 week ago - 08 November 2019 | Columns

Syed Asad Abbas There’s a lot of hype about the Cloud, however what comes to mind when you hear that your software will sit in...

Panga attack should wake nation

1 week ago - 08 November 2019 | Columns

Yesterday 26-year-old Sam Nauyoma Petrus appeared in the Ohangwena Magistrate’s Court amid extraordinary scenes of his out-of-tune behaviour.Petrus is accused of killing all but three...

When things go south

1 week ago - 08 November 2019 | Columns

Frank Chikane's book 'Eight Days in September: The Removal of Thabo Mbeki' gives a riveting, behind-the-scenes account of the removal of Mbeki as the neighbouring...

Our rape crisis

1 week ago - 07 November 2019 | Columns

Today we carry some shocking revelations from rapists about why they forced their victims to have sex.Among these were being under the influence of alcohol...

Between rights and terrorism

1 week ago - 05 November 2019 | Columns

Reports that some people who just returned to Namibia from exile in Botswana recently have crawled back into their political cocoons to demand the cessation...

Latest News

August 26 CEO innovates

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Business

Elizabeth Joseph ...

Fishing quotas under scrutiny

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Fishing

President Hage Geingob and acting fisheries minister Albert Kawana will meet next week to discuss the credibility of the fishing quota allocation process, as well...

Geingob was 'talked out of'...

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Government

President Hage Geingob had written dismissal letters for ministers Sacky Shanghala and Bernhard Esau on Wednesday morning, but a high-level meeting that included Vice-president Nangolo...

Helping people help themselves

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Evany van WykMarjolize Scholtz has been a wellness professional for over 17 years. During her career her empathy towards people has grown immensely. Scholtz was...

Putting on a corporate...

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Elizabeth Joseph Margaret Thatcher once quipped that if you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman. Langford...

Fuelled by ­creativity

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Evany van Wyk “Every challenge is put on your path to groom you and build you and if I had the opportunity to change something...

A musician at heart

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Queen, Mumford and Sons, as well as Koos du Plessis are all musical influences that Ruan Greeff, or John Rock Prophet as you may know...

EVMs in the firing line

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Politics

Independent president candidate Panduleni Itula, the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) and Swapo will square off in the electoral court on Tuesday, 19 November over...

Unshackling the toothless ACC

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Opinion

Much has been said about the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) over the years. Many have called it toothless.Revelations this week that it has been sitting on...

Load More