Message from the president: The importance of mentorship

Kazim (Kaz) Kanani

Developing professional relationships can be life changing. A mentor/mentee relationship can be beneficial, engaging, energizing, and life changing.

A mentor/mentee relationship is not a one a way street—both parties will benefit from each others’ experiences, ways of thinking, educational backgrounds, etc. So, you shouldn’t think by taking the time to mentor someone, you stand to lose. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Mentors and mentees often learn from each other and share some of the same benefits such as increased self-confidence and self-awareness, in addition to growing communication skills and exposure to new, different, and varying perspectives. At the same time, a direct benefit of being a mentor includes boosting your interpersonal skills, establishing leadership skills, paying it forward and giving back to the industry, learning the art of asking questions, and delivering critical feedback.

Mentees, of course, gain the benefit of the mentor’s knowledge, experience, skills, and feedback but also learn to self-reflect, improve goal setting abilities, get to grow a personal and professional network within the business and, of course, get to develop their careers further.

And, while one person can be mentoring another, they can also be someone else’s mentee.

We’re living in a world that is rapidly changing and we’re fortunate to be in an industry that is growing at swift paces. We’re also part of an industry that is heavily populated by the baby-boomer generation which is slowly but steadily making an exodus. As a result, decades of acquired knowledge, information, connections, and trials and tribulations will leave a gaping void. Whether you’re in the skilled trades or on the professional services side of the spectrum, a mentor/mentee relationship is more important today than ever before. As the next generation continues to enter our industry, we all have a collective responsibility to share our knowledge and experience and to provide the necessary guidance, direction, and advice to strengthen the quality of the professionals that are going to follow us.

I’ve been fortunate to have been mentored by some of the industry’s finest, starting with my spec writer grandfather, Andy Chagani. I continue to be mentored by many without whom I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I am also fortunate to have the opportunity to mentor some of the next generation, something I don’t take lightly. I’m a proud mentor and mentee. At CSC, we believe in sharing knowledge and experience and it’s something I encourage everyone to embrace. For when we share our knowledge and experience, collectively we become stronger and better individuals and professionals.

Yours in service. I am CSC.

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