Dress- H&M; Shoes- Nine West; Necklace- Carved Creations; Watch- Michael Kors; Bracelet- David Yurman; Infinity Ring- James Avery; Twist Ring- Tiffany & Co.; Bag- Forever 21- Linked Similar (Target or Henri Bendel); Lipstick- Christian Dior; Lipliner- Christian Dior; Nail Polish- Formula X
Happy #WorkWearWednesday to all my bo$$ ladies out there! I decided to give professional advice alongside professional outfits on the blog. Today’s topic is about mentoring. A lot of companies will assign a new-hire a mentor to learn from or shadow. As someone who has had many mentors in the past and present, I know that their advice and attention to detail shaped me into the young professional I am today. As a mentor myself, I take pride in my mentees’ successes and growth. I spoke with some of them about what they felt encompassed a great mentor, and came up with a top 5 list for you!
- Be approachable. A lot of mentees just need a friend at the beginning. Most of the time people are assigned mentors because they’re in a new setting or work environment so their mentor is the first person they have to confide in and lean on. As a mentor, you want to be the person that they feel comfortable with asking questions as a confidante. That’s usually what people say, “I just need someone to turn to with questions!”
- Give them your undivided attention. Juggling a mentee and a full time job, along with any extracurriculars and personal activities in your life can seem overwhelming sometimes. I’ve found that if I’m just completely honest about my time restraints, I can give the task my 100% rather than my divided attention. For example, if a mentee wants you to review their resume or some other document but you’re trying to meet a deadline and have a lot on your plate, simply say, “Hey if it’s possible can you send it to me on XXX day or XXX time? I have some important things to finish here at work and I want to give this my full attention.” This shows that you’re invested in their growth rather than just blowing them off because you’re too busy.
- Offer to help with things that they may be shy to ask for. You know those things you write that could always use an extra set of eyes? Whether it be a resume, a cover letter, an email to a recruiter or someone more senior level, an essay, a press release, a memo, etc– it would be nice to offer to be that extra lens on their work just in case they’re embarrassed to ask.
- Tell it like it is. NO ONE benefits from sugar coating, especially in the workplace. There are tactful ways to tell someone how to improve their work without being harsh. But how is your mentee ever going to learn or get better at a task when all you say is “yeah that looks good!” because you’re afraid how they will receive constructive criticism? But you’re also not their boss— and sometimes you’re walking a fine line between being “bossy” and just giving advice. A good way to avoid that is by making “suggestions” rather than saying something along the lines of “you need do it this way”.
- Try to be a support system. Sometimes all anyone needs is a bit of encouragement or a confidence boost to get through the day. You can also be that security blanket to pick them back up or help them recover from any mistakes, whether it’s copying someone on the wrong email or messing up in a class, etc. If you were assigned to be a mentor, it’s most likely that you’re more experienced meaning that your mentee will look up to you. Investing in this professional relationship will go a long way for both parties, so listen and be present.
For more tips on how to be a great mentor, check out this article by Forbes.
Lastly– some quick comments about this look! I work remotely and so don’t have to dress for work everyday. However, when I travel for conferences it’s important to look professional but still comfortable since I’m walking around like a crazy person all day. These Nine West shoes are PERFECTLY comfortable for conferences and still give me a little height. This butterfly sleeved dress is lightweight, and can be paired with a blazer to be a little more professional if you need it!
My necklace is from Carved Creations and has my friend’s name and angel date engraved on it. However, I think it’s a great gift for anniversaries and birthdays as well! Carved Creations is a sister company to John Christian Designers— they’ve done tons of jewelry for my family and I including first communion crosses, birthdays, my parent’s anniversaries, graduation, class rings, etc.
That’s all for today! I’m off to LA and San Diego starting Friday so get ready for some vacation looks coming soon on the blog!