By Roy Snell
Our profession came out of nowhere. Most of us were selected with no prior experience or education. It’s a very challenging job. Some companies that are hiring people in our profession have no prior experience in hiring compliance and ethics professionals. The best of us are underestimating the need for strong interpersonal skills, and we are over emphasizing the technical skills. We have very few colleges cranking out people with college degrees in our field. We have a ways to go before our profession will be up to par with professions that have been around for 100 years from an experience and credibility standpoint.
In the interim, there is something we can all do to help. Call someone you know who could use a little mentoring. Call today. Call again in a week or two. Don’t wait for someone to match you up. It doesn’t work that way. Pick someone you would enjoy working with. Pick someone who is a “personality match.” Pick someone you think has potential. Pick someone you would be proud to say you helped. Ask them how they are doing. Think about what they need help with and send them an article or a link to a website. Tell them where you received your best compliance and ethics training. Encourage them to be involved in and hang out with the profession. Go onto social media and answer a few questions or make a comment about something you recently discovered. Write an article or blog post. Speak at a conference. Or better yet, invite your mentee to co-present or co-author a post or article. We don’t need much of your time. We just need a little bit of time from a lot of people.
If ever there was a time and a place for mentoring, the emerging compliance and ethics profession is it. We are unique because we have come out of nowhere to a near C-suite level job. It’s exciting, but it comes with challenges. Our profession needs credibility, maybe more than most. The sooner our profession gets “up to speed,” the sooner we can get to the place we need to be. And the more we all help each other, the sooner we get there. Our colleagues need ideas, help, and encouragement. Anyone who has been around for five or more years can find someone who is traveling just a tad behind and reach back to give them a helping hand.
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