Career and Corporate Life Management Mentorship

Career and Corporate Life Management Mentorship is an integral part of the holistic human capital development, and yet most ignored by the working professionals. Over many years I have observed how so many professionals go through frustrations in corporate. Such could be avoided if they could engage corporate life mentors. We require mentors that have been there and seen it all. They will accompany corporate professionals through all the A to Z stages of their career lives. That is from deciding on the career direction, to the exiting stage.

What is concerning is that very few professionals see a need to have Career and Corporate Life Management Project that is informed by their life purpose. Many are caught napping when things do not go as expected. They find themselves reacting and in many cases the steps taken are misplaced.

A mentor will alert you, especially when everything seems to be happening smoothly and you are enjoying harmony. That is when you should be preparing for all the possibilities. This does not mean that we have to be paranoid. It is necessary to make our lives happen, rather than chasing after events when they have already happened. We must direct our lives as we wish them to be. There will be times when we do not succeed. But when we make a miss we will not fall far from our targets.

Career Management ought to be an activity from cradle to grave. The corporate life is just part of our bigger life journey. It should not be allowed to throw us out of balance and run havoc with our lives. It must add to our holistic life journey, and not become our journey by itself.

If we had a solid foundation early in our holistic human capital development, guided by our early life mentors, through to corporate and beyond, we ought to be victors in our journey. I have never heard of anyone who has succeeded in life without being assisted by others. We forget such mentors and supporters by choice and ignorance. But we are often reminded of such people when things fall apart. It is often difficult to go to them when we are in trouble, because we are ashamed that we cut connections with them. Mentorship must be a life-long practice, and be accessed through all our holistic human capital development stages.

The best gift for your mentors is to be successful in taking your life forward. The mistake you must not make is to think that you no longer need other people’s help, and you can make it on your own. Life will humble you. Everyone in your life is a gift and they matter until the end of your life.

Career and Corporate Life Management is not a straight line. However, we must master the following generic phases: career development education → enter first job → technician → admin → functional → specialist → supervisory → management → leadership → executive → directorship → board role → retirement → post retirement roles.

At any of the above stages one must be able to exit and take other opportunities that might present them. It is this detour that could throw one out of complete balance, or take one back and fro.

In many cases our career growth is disrupted by ourselves as a result of misreading unexpected developments. For example we resign from our current jobs thinking that we are accelerating our growth or maximizing our earnings, only to find that over a long-term we might have taken our growth ten steps backward.

On the other end the detour is necessary and could be a calling to enter entrepreneurship, self-employment, consultancy, academic, professional, and a complete career change. Such developments must be anticipated and find us ready when they happen. Sometimes the window of opportunity is so small and we must squeeze in momentarily.

Corporate life has its own dynamics. There are many sub-cultures that may not be obvious to us. We cannot be blind and naive to such complexities. Mentors are valuable in helping us deal with such dynamics.

Corporate savvy is what we all need to survive in corporate life. We must also know when we have become corporate change agents and play such roles with responsibility. Take strategic decision to influence the culture of your corporate progressively. If you are not cut out to handle corporate dynamics and complexities you must also be aware of your limitations. It is wise to accept your limitations and make decisive steps to take a different direction that enhances your career management project.

Do not leave your career and corporate life management to chances. Own up and be guided by your bigger purpose in life. Let your mentor be your daily partner. Invest personally in your mentorship program. The returns will surpass all the investments, efforts, and energies spend on your holistic career and corporate life management.

Your attitude to corporate politics, dynamics, and culture determines your success or failure. You decided to apply and join the corporate on your own. Nobody owes you anything. Be a player of the corporate game. Be the best at it. But remember you are not special. You owe it to yourself to be successful.

Foundational Career and Corporate Life Management Mentorship

In the Career and Corporate Life Management Mentorship we refer to the need to mastering the following generic phases: career development education → enter first job → technician → admin → functional → specialist → supervisory → management → leadership → executive → directorship → board role → retirement → post retirement roles. We also acknowledge that career and corporate life journey is not a straight line. We should, in our orientation, see our career progression following a pattern like the one above. When there is detour, we must be conscious of it and, as far as possible, influence the new direction. That will confirm to us that we are alert and directing our career and corporate life evolution. We will make mistakes but they will be manageable.

We all start somewhere in our career journeys, either as administrators or technical workforce. That is the foundation that is highly recommended. It is during these foundation years that we discover ourselves in the corporate world.

In most cases we are naive and impatient. It is expected because we are not experienced and just want to shoot through the phases of our careers. We are soon humbled and learn to be open-minded about our careers. If we do well as administrators and technical workers we will easily transition into areas of specialization. We are also prepared to become productive functional role players in our various industries.

We must all get our foundation right for the possible various career paths in the future. We get this foundation stages wrong, we suffer the consequences later in our careers. These stages are the base for supervisory, management and leadership roles in the future. This is over and above our academic and corporate development programs.

Many people can confess that their great performance during their foundation administrative, technical and functional years paved their transition into supervisory, management, and leadership roles. The reason is obvious; we all have to earn the trust of our superiors through hard work and great performance in our first jobs. They are the core of any business and therefore highly visible to the leaders. Many companies compete at this level in their sectors.

More than 50% of the curriculum of vocational and corporate academies is at the administrative, technical, specialization, and functional levels. These are the areas that can be verified against the development investment that the business makes. The intellectual capital of companies is entailed at these levels of the knowledge base of the company. The senior management and leadership are rewarded on how good they look after the company talent at these levels. The future of the company is guaranteed by the best talent at these levels. This is what sustains some of the best economies in the world. This does not suggest that supervisory, management and leadership levels are not important. They are. However, the critical mass is at the administrative, technical, specialization and functional levels. If things go wrong here the impact will be huge.

From here onward the development into the future is more of a partnership between the candidates and the management. In most cases that is done together with business schools and the internal corporate academies.

Why do we need mentors then? Each of all these careers has their own dynamics, considering that they play critical role in the enterprise. They are demanding on the people, require different mindset, discipline, behaviours, and characters. Each employee must understand their space in the enterprise and act accordingly. The mentors are there to remind the us that this is a normal growth path other people before them have also been through. Each of these careers leads to somewhere. Postulate that and anticipate the destiny. Perform to the latter and make sure that you succeed in the next level, which is likely to be challenging than the current. The higher you go the less you will depend on your administrative, technical, specialist, and functional expertise.

The mentor will most likely advice you to keep your portfolio of evidence, write a lot about your milestones, etc. You are certainly going to experience a difficulty as you move into management and leadership levels.