As someone that has been on the giving and receiving end of mentorship, I think that when done right, the results can be incredibly rewarding for both participants. If you are a job seeker that is looking to transition in your career, grow in your current role, or just unsure of what is next for you, mentorship is a great path to clarity.
Since every organization with a formal mentorship program operates in their own unique way, I think it is so important to really think about who you want as your mentor, what you want out of the experience and what level of support you really need.
In the last few years, I have supported and number of organizations including FEW, YWiB and most recently, have partnered with Locelle and Mentor Moments. Each of these organizations offer a different take on mentorship, so I encourage you to learn more about each if you are looking for a mentor (or to become one).
I believe strongly that a values driven process is paramount.
Today, I want to share with you 5 reasons why you should consider becoming a mentee:
Learn from the experiences of other
This is where you’ll get insight and exposure to new ideas and ways of thinking
Becoming more self-aware
Being self-aware is a process that takes time and should be continuous. It could be as simple as learning more about what you like, what you don’t like, identifying your strengths and weaknesses, what you are good at and what you need to improve on.
Learning your values and being able to identify them in career opportunities allows you to create a path to your true potential.
Reaching your goals makes you feel fulfilled and successful. You can’t reach a goal that has not been identified yet. With mentorship, as you determine goals, you can then create a process of how to achieve those goals.
Did you know that reaching goals will naturally increate job satisfaction. It will create more meaning and fulfillment (don’t just take our word for it, this is from Psych 101).
Expanding your network
The wider your circle, the more aware you are of what is going on in the world, outside of your bubble (and not just the COVID kind). Mentors automatically expand your professional network and can also impact your personal network as relationships grow. An introduction in a professional setting is one of the most valuable tools you can be handed!
Did you know that mentors are often the biggest champions of their mentees during a job search? Often acting as a reference, a guide, a sounding board and a confidant.
Increased diversity and improved corporate culture
If you are an organization that isn’t sold on supporting your employees with opportunities to access mentorship (inside and outside of the organization), this one is for you.
If employees in your firm don’t have the representation, they need at the levels they aspire to reach, then it’s the organizations duty to support them in acquiring that representation elsewhere.
From a corporate culture standpoint, a mentored employee becomes an employee with increased confidence, a heightened sense of inclusion and belonging, and empowers their ability to knowledge share, engage and contribute positively to the organization.
Stay tuned for part 2 on 5 reasons you should consider becoming a mentor!
When going to a job interview, first impressions really count. Now that a lot of interviews are going remote, many are forgetting that you are still about to make a first impression, and your appearance counts.
Dress with confidence and style; be polished and professional.
Here are some tips for you:
Find out what the dress code is
Ask what the dress code is when setting up the job interview. This will give you a hint on what they are expecting, and also give you a glimpse of their culture too!
Be conservative with what you choose
If the job interview is at a formal office, dress the way you would on your first day, unless told otherwise. If it is a casual office, and jeans and t-shirts are worn, you should still do a more business variation of this to look put together and like you put in effort for the interview.
Wear clothes that fit
Don’t wear clothes that are too tight or too loose to the job interview. Both are inappropriate and will make you look less put together.
Wear clean clothes
Even over zoom, we can tell when your clothes are dirty, and it gives off the wrong first impression.
Be well groomed
The COVID restrictions have made it challenging for everyone to feel comfortable getting hair cuts, and heading to salons for regular appointments. This is not an excuse to show up to interviews a mess. Simply putting some effort into keeping your hair out of our face, and clean, will go a long way. Remember that your hands are often seen in the camera, so while you may not be getting your nails done, they could still be clean.
Dress for the job you want, not the job you have
You’ve likely heard this saying before. It’s important that you let go of your preconceived notions of the work that you are doing now, and focus on where you are looking to be in the future. Dress for the job you are applying for.
Feel comfortable adding your own personal style
Add a splash of colour or personality like a tie, scarf, or piece of jewelry. It’s OK to have personality. You want to be memorable and stand out from the other candidates and adding a little statement can help with that. At the end of the day, you want them to hire you; the real you. So feel comfortable sharing a bit about who you are; we just recommend you don’t go overboard.
At the end of the day, remote interviews feel very similar to in person interviews, when you get going. The main thing is to feel confident, prepared and ready to what them with how well you align with the position they are hiring for.
Want to know more about about how to succeed in job interviews, check out these additional tips.
Most of us are currently following the stay at home orders that have been instituted all over the world. I have been hearing a lot of people saying things like “I just feel stuck” or “I feel like this is wasted time”.
The fact is, most of the world is in the same situation, so feeling like you are getting left behind as the world is moving forward simply isn’t the case, we are all in the same boat. Mindset is key in this situation. It’s important that you are choosing to see the silver lining of this extra time as the chance to use it however you feel works best for you. For some, that will mean some much needed down time, for others, it might be getting in that quality time with the kids that you have been missing. For others, it can be a time to grow your skills and knowledge to set you apart when the world returns to normal.
Here are some ideas of great ways to keep that stagnant feeling at bay!
Take an online class
Utilize some of the wonderful online learning platforms to deepen your software skills, learn about how other people in your field approach their tasks, or even to pick up a new hobby. If you don’t know where to start here are a few suggestions:
MasterClass is a great site where famous experts in their field share their knowledge. Here you can learn to cook like Gordon Ramsey or critically think like Neil deGrasse Tyson. It is a bit pricier, but they are running a buy one, get one deal that you could split with a friend or colleague.
Udemy is similar in concept to MasterClass with a wide range of subjects and price points. They also run great sales every few weeks with up to 90% off some courses.
SkillShare is more targeted to the arts but features great content if you are looking to pick up a new hobby or are interested in an arts career, and they are running a free two-month trial.
Read a book
Normally our schedules are so packed with work, social events, and errands that we don’t have time to sit down and read a book. Check out the great selection of physical books available for delivery online or download an eBook from a respected person in your field, a great life coach, or a how-to book for a skill or hobby you are interested in.
Did you know we have a career coaching book available? Check out the HR Insider; how to land your dream job and keep it – available online at Chapters and Amazon!
Update your LinkedIn / Resume
If you are facing a career change or looking to grow your network, take some time to review your LinkedIn page and resume to ensure that it is up to date and the best reflection of you professionally so that recruiters or potential connections are more interested. Make sure to include keywords in your profile, so when recruiters are searching for candidates, your profile will have a higher change of popping up on their radar.
Practice your skills
Take this time to revisit the skills on your resume that you may have not used in a while. For example, if you have Excel as a top skill on your resume but haven’t been using it in your current role take some time to play around and assess where your skills are now and take steps to improve them.
Things like legitimate goal setting can get bumped off the to-do list easily. Take this time to sit down and map out some SMART goals for yourself for the short term and long term. If you set a 3-month goal, add a calendar alert to remind you to check in on your progress six weeks from now, and again at the goal date.
If you are looking toward applying for positions soon, ask a friend (or us!) to stage a practice interview with you. The earlier you do this practice interview the earlier you can identify gaps in your skillset that could help guide you to the best online courses to be taking now.
Turn your designated Amazon scrolling time into time where you “shop” for dream companies. This form of shopping will not cost you anything and may help you discover a new goal.
If you have (or discover) a company that you would love to work for, reach out on LinkedIn to see if you can arrange for an informational interview using Zoom or FaceTime. Although the recruiter at your dream company might not be immediately available to interview or meet with you, it’s still a great idea to throw your name out there and express your interest in case a suitable role opens up later down the road.
Develop your brand
Who do you want to be perceived as professionally? Do your LinkedIn, socials, and resume all reflect the same brand identity? If not, take some time and analyze what you should adjust to best represent yourself. If branding is not your strong suit that may be a great online class to take!
If there are any great things you have found to continue your professional development during this time we would love to hear about it!
Interviews are stressful – you want to be organized and appear to be fully qualified for each job you apply to. When getting ready and prepared for a job interview, it is important to think of the questions you may be asked and be ready with great responses.
One of the most common questions that still gets asked is some variation of “tell me about your weaknesses”.
Let’s get ready for this one together!
First, let’s consider why interviewers ask questions about your weaknesses.
They ask about weaknesses to see how and if candidates will fit into their organization when it comes to taking ownership. They also want to see if a candidate has the ability to recognize their imperfections and then be able to implement strategies to learn and grow to overcome them. Employers care about the process of coming back from errors, more so than the mistake itself.
Do not reply with “I am a perfectionist” or “I work too hard”.
It can be tricky to identify weaknesses.
One way to communicate positively about a weakness is to identify a skill or a trait that you are learning or have learned to overcome and that has now become a strength.
When asked “what is your weakness”, this is a great time to tell a story about yourself of how you have learned to improve yourself. This can be done by identifying a hard or soft skill you wanted to improve and then telling you interviewer the steps you took to actually do it.
Show that you are ready for self-improvement and growth.
Here are a few examples of good responses:
I am still learning to set boundaries. I have a tendency to people please and in the past, took on too much I don’t like giving up projects and can get caught up in the details. To help with this, I have learned to give myself deadlines to stay on deadline. I also ensure I prioritize and delegate when needed.
A weakness of mine is that I don’t speak a second language. In my last job at ABC Company, most of our clients were from Mexico or Southern USA and spoke Spanish. I took it upon myself to buy a Rosetta Stone (Audio Book) to learn conversational Spanish in my car to show my clients that I acknowledged my weakness and that I was committed to making a change.
We also found a great response from Hubspot, about delegating. “I’m incredibly self-motivated, and I sometimes find it difficult to delegate responsibility when I feel I can finish the task well myself. However, when I became manager in my last role, it became critical I learn to delegate tasks. To maintain a sense of control when delegating tasks, I implemented a project management system to oversee the progress of a project. This system enabled me to improve my ability to delegate efficiently.”
Remember that the common “what is your weakness” question can take many forms.
Interview questions can be straight forward or geared towards behavioral questions such as:
How has this weakness negatively affected you?
What would you like to improve in the next year?
What would your pas manager say you need to improve on?
If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
This is a great time for self-reflection. It’s not only helping you rock your next job interview; it will also be a really good opportunity to check yourself and see what improvements you can make to eliminate an answer from the roster.
Please feel free to contact our office with any questions.