This post was written by Vivian Nunez.
In the era of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, mentoring is considered one essential key to success. Whether you’re starting your own business or trying to navigate your way through a corporation, there are certain key people you’re looking to for advice.
Social Media Week New York gave the audience the opportunity to experience what being mentored by seven highly experienced professionals would be like, while providing insight into what questions mentees should be asking.
In a chat led by Christina Vuleta of 40:20 Vision, the 7×7 Mentor Session: Industry Leaders Share Career Advice on Getting Ahead initiated a dialogue between the mentors and mentees that kept the conversation alive and the advice flowing.
Here are some of the major takeaways from this dynamic conversation:
- What do you do if as a woman you’re told you’re ‘too aggressive’?
Tip 1: Take it with a grain of salt. Then analyze if this is a comment you’re constantly getting and who it’s coming from. “A guy would not be described as aggressive,” said Adam Quinton, and it’s an unfortunate reality that must be taken into consideration.
Tip 2: Think hard if you’re being aggressive or just coming from a place of pure excitement. And if the latter is the case, then your pitch shouldn’t change, you should continue to do what you’re doing because it means you’re staying true to who you are.
- What’s an important leadership quality to develop early on?
Tip 1: Be a continuous learner. Having a growth mindset will allow you enough room to make mistakes and to have a beginner’s mindset, which will keep you hungry and on your toes.
Tip 2: If you’re running your own business, you also want to make sure that you’re hiring the best and firing anyone who is detrimental to the company quickly.
Tip 3: “Learn how to improvise. Put yourselves in as many situations as possible where you don’t have the answers,” said Whitney Johnson, Rose Park Advisors.
- How do I go about starting my career and starting/quitting my first job?
Tip 1: Giving up on a job too quickly is a bad skill to nurture,” said Justin Stanwix, Marketing Director at Gust. According to Stanwix you should stay at your job for at least two years. And remember that the first six months of any job are plain hard, don’t let it deter you.
Tip 2: Make sure the jobs you take are somehow in line with the overall mission you have for your career. Find a mentor who will hold you accountable and question that you’re staying true to yourself in this sense.
The advice given during this panel was bountiful and not to be missed, so if you get a chance check out the archived livestream here, thanks to Nokia.
Vivian Nunez is a senior at Baruch College studying marketing and journalism. Follow her on Twitter @vivnunez.
Vivian is one of our SMW Press Corps members, managed by OpenCommunications. Learn more here.