#MyHRDiary: My Covid19 and Mentorship Story
Welcome to another episode of #MyHRDiary. a diary series in the life of an HR Professional.
As an HR Professional who has a wide network and belong to lots of HR Groups, you can guess I had my fair share of proper briefing when it got to managing the Covid-19 situation. It was all over that this is the time for HR Professionals to position themselves as strategic business partners etc. I read various writeups about how to manage it well and I felt prepared (in my mind)
For me, I think I managed it PRETTY well at the beginning (to the point that I was even advising senior colleagues on how I managed it in my own organization). I ensured I brought all managers on board and drove the process of WFH seamlessly because we are a tech company and it looked easy but I was proud of my approach to the smooth sailing
When the official lockdown started and more planning needed to be done, I had already prepared a document with a projection of what may happen and what needed to be done but dates projected was coming closer than expected and I was in a fix.
I became a bit emotional about some decisions that needed to be made so I tried my best to be considerate in both ways (people and business side). Before making a decision, I had a rethink and kept pondering about how to have a win-win situation and thinking too much like a chess player that I am made it stressful.
Then I decided not to bear that burden alone. Why work within my own limited knowledge and capacity when I can tap within my network of senior HR friends? I was so happy that suggestion came into my head at that time so I immediately rushed to record a distressing voice note asking for advice on my options and the best way to handle it.
It’s like I already knew what to do but I needed people with more experience to share theirs so that I can be sure or I needed to have a rethink. After sharing with about 6 different senior colleagues, I was amazed at the response rate and the depth of their analysis. Truly, you really can’t buy experience neither can you acquire it in a hurry. I heard some high-level analysis, I began to question myself if I had the capacity.
But I knew I was resting on the shoulders on decades of experience so I became optimistic. Because of what I do with CareerLife Nigeria, I also provide mentorship to young professionals on career issues and even some HR issues based on my own experience but the kind of solutions I got made me realize I still have a LONG way to go in this HR journey. I can only take one step at a time and be grateful for each moment of learning.
So to young ones out there, don’t just have a mentor for title sake. Be open to invite them when you get to a cross road. It’s only in those moments, you would understand the value of mentors. I have learned to segment some colleagues in their areas of their strength. E.g if I need advice related to Employee Relations or L&D, I know the sets of people to call. I won’t say I stumbled on them. I have intentionally built relationships in those areas and I try to keep the fire burning by frequently running ideas by them. They also do the same with me.
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