Opening doors for others may open doors for yourself

by Michael Kwan in Blog

DatePosted on September 30, 2015 at 09:12 PM
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Walking through the Landmark, I held the door open for the person behind me. Yet, there was no acknowledgement of thanks. Onto the next set of doors, the person in front rushed through the small gap just as they were closing. Just another average day in Hong Kong. This got me thinking.

Growing up in the UK, I’ve always been taught by both teachers and family that I should open the doors for others, irrespective of their status – whether they’re the Queen of England or the janitor, you should treat them in the same friendly, courteous and positive manner. I wholeheartedly believe in helping others, even if it’s in a small way that may be on the surface entirely insignificant, but this approach to life has really helped my career.

In secondary school, I had applied for and was appointed as the Head of Boarding (School).  In this role, I felt very strongly in helping the younger students, many of whom were thousands of miles away from their home and family, to settle into life in the school and generally help them wherever I could. Without intending to, this position had opened up the door to my University of choice.

Fast forward a few years, and after a couple of years' working as a Management Consultant, I wanted to get more involved on the recruitment side of things and started screening junior applicants and interns, introducing and implementing an induction program, carrying out mentoring duties and coaching junior staff. I didn’t get paid any extra for these added duties, nor frankly, did I get much acknowledgement for it at the time. But I really enjoyed that part of my day and looking back, I feel that I’ve opened up some doors for them. And these doors weren't necessarily to a new job or internship, they were the doors to their own mind, enabling them to see the world and their careers in a different light. 

After 5 years in the firm, having been involved in numerous hiring and mentoring projects, I realised recruitment was a career that was not only financially rewarding, but more importantly, was more fulfilling then what I was doing before.

So here I am after a number of turning points in my life, I’m coming up to my 2nd year anniversary as a Recruitment Consultant at Star Anise and loving every moment. Helping others, even in very small ways, have had a profound effect on my career and personal growth and development.

So my question to you is – when was the last time you opened the door for someone?


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About the Author

Michael Kwan

Michael was an Associate Director at Star Anise, leaving the legal recruitment industry in 2018 after 4.5 years.  

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