Whenever you can help, do and do it kindly

I am working in the Marketing Analytics for a big private bank in America. I didn’t work in the banking industry before. The learning curve is really high. I have to learn not only the products and the terminologies, but also the data, the tools we use to extract data for different products (mortgage, loans, credit cards) and programming language (SAS, SQL). Having been here for some weeks, I still have a lot to learn. My manager told me that he expected me to be comfortable with what we do in at least 6 months and one year is a normal timeline.

Today, I was asking one of my teammates about a specific product and campaign at the bank. Even though it was around 4:30pm on a Friday when there were only two of us left in the office, he patiently explained to me and went over and beyond to show the code he did and what the code meant. In the end, he told me of his experience in his previous company where he was also trying to learn his way around like I am and he was discouraged since his former colleagues didn’t seem eager to teach him. He said their attitude made him try not to bother them and ask questions, unless he really really had to. The experience taught him to really take the time to help out others properly.

It’s sad when somebody doesn’t feel like asking you for help even when that somebody really needs help. Reaching out for assistance isn’t easy. In my opinion, it takes a little bit of courage as nobody wants to appear vulnerable, inferior or incompetent in a professional environment. If you can help out, please do. If you are busy at the time, schedule another time or point to another source of information. Nonetheless, don’t try to explain a complex issue in 1-2 minutes and abruptly leave and say: I am so busy, I don’t have time for this. It makes things even worse. It’s humiliating to the other person.

One of the most important things I have learned growing up is that you show your true color more when you deal with people who are inferior, less unfortunate than you, not when you deal with people superior to you. Plus, I don’t think anybody can be good at anything without once having a mentor or help along the way.

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