Even though my blog is primarily focused on young entrepreneurs and young professionals, it’s excruciatingly important to recognize that not every new entrepreneur or professional is young. Some are on a 2nd/3rd/4th careers, some are older people starting their first career after going back to school at a later stage, some are parents returning to work after their kids started/finished school, and some are coming back blazing after a lengthy illness (either themselves or a loved one).

Regardless of age, young or older, we as their friends, family, colleagues and society need to support them. Why? Well, beyond the obvious fact that they are human beings worthy of love and respect, being new at something is TERRIFYING. You feel ready and the knowledgeable, but at the same time you know that you have lots to learn and have a tonne of people ready to remind you that you are less than them because you haven’t been at it as long as they have. This is why a lot of people fail or give up when they struggle even when their business model is rock solid or they are on a great career trajectory, because they don’t have the support base.

HEAR ME LOUD & CLEAR: IF YOU DON’T HAVE THAT IN YOUR LIFE, GUESS WHAT? I’VE GOT YOUR BACK! I’ve been in the situation before where I felt like the only people who legitimately had my back professionally were myself and my Mum (brothers and sister-in-law, you’ve always had my back personally) and it sucks. If you’re lacking that in your life, I’m there!

Let’s get down to brass tacks; how can we support new entrepreneurs and new professionals? Here are my thoughts!

Purchase their product/service, even if to give away as a gift.

    • This means a lot to someone because it demonstrates that you have faith in them.
    • Even better if it is given as a gift because it is also a reflection on that person as a giver of quality gifts.

Offer to make networking connections to those who you think could help them out.

    • Introduce them to someone in the same field or who has been in their shoes who can potentially mentor them.
    • Suggest a coach that can help them with a skill they need developed further. Alternately, you can offer to help pay for a course that you think would be beneficial and is currently out of their price range.

Recognize that they are going to have days of doubt, don’t add to that!

    • Reassure them that everything is going to work out if they just keep pushing forward.
    • Remind them that this is 100% part of the process and it means that they are growing.

Don’t wait for them to ask for help. If you notice that you need a hand with something, offer it!

    • Someone new in the industry is going to feel overwhelmed, like they’re in completely over their heads, and don’t know where to turn.
    • They’re also going to feel like they should know exactly what to do and where to turn, and when they stumble, they may feel like a fraud or imposter. Reach out with a hand to help them learn that they are not!

Take time to ask them what their ultimate goals are.

    • Chances are, they’ve either thought this out down to the minute or they are “just going with the flow”. Either way, being a sounding board for them can help them to think things through more clearly.
    • By determining what their ultimate goals are, you can work with them to figure out how they are going to accomplish these and help them set their goals into action plans.

If it’s a new colleague, don’t make them feel left out or like they are less than you. Trust me, they already feel like this!

    • Please keep in mind that you were once in their shoes too!
    • If they have a thousand questions, answer them or give them the resources to find the info themselves. This way, they can become self-sufficient and able to carry out tasks more effectively & efficiently. Plus, they can then properly onboard future colleagues.