Amazing people don’t just happen
Five years ago I was introduced to a shy young Murri girl. She was a school-based trainee who had come from Marsden State High, she barely said a word and was a fish out of water in the office environment. She spent several years working with the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, one day a week. Her name is Akayla.
Going back to when Akayla first started at QTIC, she was a business admin assistant working for the office of the CE. Initially quiet and reserved, when she was introduced to our receptionist Kayla she began to grow in confidence. Surrounding yourself with positive people really makes all the difference.
Through her time at QTIC, Akayla learnt that she can achieve anything that she puts her mind to. She came out of her shell, learnt some valuable lessons and importantly, met some influential people. The life lessons that she learnt through the office environment transferred to her football career and vice-versa. Transferable skills such as time management and team work should not be under-estimated. Neither should the importance of surrounding yourself with people who can support you, guide you and mentor you through your journey.
Akayla has surrounded herself with a number of mentors through the years. Working at DreamWorld Corroboree she was guided by her manager Marty. He saw the potential in Akayla from their first meeting. He has championed her, offered her guidance and provided professional development since this time. She has done the same for him, mentoring really is a two way gain.
Through the network of contacts shared by Akayla and Marty she was introduced to Mark Ella AM. The international rugby superstar is now Executive Producer NITV Sport. He hosted around 25 people at Treasury Casino this week to support Akayla as she heads to Melbourne for her international rugby league debut.
The influence and impact of the networks we hold are an integral part of our professional growth. Mentors work in a number of ways including: offering cultural insight, knowledge and guidance as complex situations are navigated; professional growth from public speaking and developing confidence to enhancing skill sets and meeting new contacts; and personal development, understanding who you are, what your values are and how to stay true to your beliefs.
So where am I going with all this? Well don’t forget to tune in and support our rugby star Akayla as she launches her career, but also don’t be afraid to reach out to people you admire, people that you look up to or people in your industry that you think could add value to you and your profession. Networks offer us opportunities to meet lots of incredible people, but how often do we really take advantage of them? I dare you to! Next time you go to a networking event, seek out the person that you look up to, start a conversation and don’t be afraid to seek an ongoing mentoring relationship. You never know where a conversation or a chance meeting could take you.