Last week I discussed the importance of giving back during tough economic times, and I promised I’d make suggestions that weren’t hard on your wallet.
We discussed the importance of making humane decisions when laying people off and how to ease their burden. A colleague who read the post reiterated the challenge of offering someone a lesser position in your company. He pointed out that this could be embarrassing for the person who’d been severed, and mentioned other problems that might arise when continuing to employ someone who had been effectively demoted.
That’s what has brought me to my next suggestion for how to give back during tough times (and all times).
Become a mentor.
One way that I choose to use my time and that I hope you will as well is mentoring those who need some assistance. In a weird way, this can be the perfect accompaniment to letting someone go or being there for someone who has been let go.
Help that person hone and display his or her marketable skills. Assist that person in pursuing other gainful employment or counsel that person in those areas that are your strong suits as s/he pursues an alternate path, be it entrepreneurial, educational or otherwise.
Become a mentor to those who need your expertise and who are eager to learn from your gray haired, no haired or wrinkled status.
This person doesn’t have to be someone recently severed. He could be anyone: a child, co-worker, or someone you met at a social gathering.
And don’t mentor just one person, but as many as you can. Spread your knowledge and be compassionate. Those who benefit from your wisdom today could be the leaders of tomorrow and the financial footings of your community.
Mentoring is an amazing way to give back in difficult financial times – especially if those times are falling particularly hard on other people.
Do you mentor? How did the relationship come about?