10 key learnings from our mentees
Working with a mentor can be one of the best ways to develop your career. A mentor will share their knowledge, provide insight into what you can do to achieve more and help you build strong relationships within your organisation. We sat down with some of our mentees to find out what they learned from their mentoring experience with Elemed.
1. You need to know what you want out of life
If you don’t know where you’re heading, it’s impossible to get there. And, it’s not enough just knowing what you want; you need clarity around how you’re going to get those things and why they matter so much to you in the first place.
2. Be self-aware and own your shortcomings
Being self-aware and owning your shortcomings is incredibly important if you want to succeed. You should know your strengths and weaknesses, and be honest with yourself about your shortcomings so that you can work on them before they become too big an obstacle in achieving success. Take responsibility for your shortcomings instead of blaming others or making excuses for not being able to overcome them. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if needed!
3.Practise difficult conversations before you have to do them
Practising difficult conversations with a friend or colleague is an extremely valuable tool – even if it feels silly at the time! Write down each side of the conversation you’re preparing for in advance and then practise having the conversation out loud. Get comfortable talking about what’s happening for yourself and why – it’ll make things much easier when it comes to going ahead with the real thing.
4. Negotiating is part of business, so learn how to do it well
When it comes to negotiating – be that with a team member, a department or with your manager (for a promotion of pay rise) – it’s always best to avoid being pushy and instead be assertive. Be diplomatic and try not to be aggressive or passive when negotiating with someone else; both approaches can make your conversation difficult and tense.
5. Have a growth mindset, rather than a fixed mindset
In a fixed mindset, you believe that your intelligence and abilities are set in stone. You’re either smart or you’re not, and there’s nothing that can be done about it. In a growth mindset, on the other hand, you believe that intelligence and abilities can be developed through learning – and this belief leads to more success in life.
A great example of this comes from Carol Dweck’s book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success: “People with the fixed mindset tend to interpret failure as evidence of their personal inadequacy; those with the growth mindset look at failure as an inevitable part of learning.”
6. Make sure you have a good support network to help you through challenging times
It’s important to have a good support network to help you through challenging times. Friends, family and colleagues are all great sources of support but there are also professional support groups, therapy or counselling and online support groups that can be useful if you need extra help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and let other people in – you’re not alone.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask questions in meetings or during projects – sometimes it’s the best way to learn!
As you continue your career, there will be times where you have a question about something or someone. You may not know the answer and are afraid of looking stupid if you ask. But don’t worry! That’s how we all learn – by asking questions and getting answers from those who know more than us. Asking questions shows that you care about what’s going on around you and want to understand more about it.
8. It’s possible to have career success without sacrificing your happiness or mental health
It’s important to remember that work is not all there is. You have a life outside of work and it’s important to take time for yourself and your friends, family and hobbies.
Don’t let your job take over your life! Take some time each day or week just for yourself – be kind both internally and externally towards yourself (and others).
9. Speak up
Speaking up is a skill that can be difficult to master, but it’s an essential one to have. By doing so, people respect your opinion because they know that when they hear from you, they’ll get an honest answer. The same goes for disagreeing with others: if someone has said something wrong or made an assumption about something without checking first (which happens often), don’t be afraid of correcting them. You don’t want people making decisions based on incorrect information; so speak up if necessary.
10. Learn to say no
Learning to say no is one of the most important skills you can develop as a leader. Saying yes is easy and feels good, but it’s also one of the most common ways we overextend ourselves and become less effective at work.
We’ve all been in situations where someone asks us for help and we feel like saying no would be rude or impolite – but sometimes saying yes isn’t necessarily the right thing either. If you’re not sure whether you should help someone out or not, ask yourself these questions:
Is this person asking me because they want my expertise? Or are they looking for something else? (For example: Does he want my attention more than anything else?)
Can I do this task quickly and easily so it doesn’t take up much time from other priorities?
If either answer is “no,” then say no!
Testimonials from our mentees
“I joined Elemed’s mentoring program with an open mind and with the hope of meeting professionals from the Medtech industry with the goal of improving my career profile. Elemed met its promise of delivering a mentor tailored just for my needs. The mentoring program was an eye-opener and in many ways a boost that was required to push me out of my comfort zone and reach out to new prospects. Now, months down the line after the program, I made a big leap in my professional life. I owe it all to my mentor and Elemed for providing such a platform. Thank you!”
“There are two key practices that I learned as a mentee and still use to this day, 2 years later. The first is using a “why are you here” slide at the beginning and end of trainings and presentations to introduce and recap the purpose and goals of the presented material. The second is the FORD (Family Occupation Recreation Dreams) acronym. I use FORD to find conversation topics at networking events, establish relationships with coworkers, and other situations where small talk is required.”
“The mentorship programme has not just been for a cohort for a limited time, but it has made me have lifelong networks and soft skills. I have developed a relationship with my mentor since 2020, who has become a mentor on career-related aspects and everything connected to life. I have maintained my networks through what I learnt from the mentorship programme – “networks are maintained not by what you get but by what you can contribute to the network”. This has transformed me from being a getter to a giver. Lastly, the mentorship has made me into a brand that recruiters headhunt.”
The most important thing to remember is that there are no right or wrong answers. Your mentor will help you find the best answers for your personal journey and career, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and explore different options with them! With Elemed’s Mentoring 2.0, we handpick your mentor based on your personal experience, challenges and goals. We use our tried-and-tested, top secret matching technique – plus lots of information about you both – to ensure that your mentor is the best person to help you grow. Learn more here.