Saturday, June 18, 2016

Soft Skills for Summer Interns

The most common word I hear from interns and about interns is "awkward". Here are a few corporate internship do's, don'ts and "do you's" that you won't learn in training:

1.  Do be polite to the support staff and assistants.  They will make your life so much easier. Learn their names.  Ask them about their weekends.  Not only are they valuable members of the company too, but they've probably been there a long time and can give you additional information about the company.  An internship is a long job interview.  You should continue to assess whether the company is a good fit for you and the staff is a great resource. 

2.  Don't talk about anything sensitive or confidential on the elevator.  Many companies share the building with other companies.  There could also be a visitor or client on board heading to a meeting.  Same rule applies to restaurants.

3.   Don't check your cell phone during meetings or meals.  If you have an emergency project you are working on and need to be on call, politely decline the invitation. You are an intern. If the full-time professionals can carve out an hour for a meeting, so can you.  In their minds, you are not that busy. It doesn't matter if you see them check their phones every 10 seconds. Resist.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Around the Web: BE Assembles Your Mentoring Dream Team

Black Enterprise's Kandia Johnson recently presented her list of must-have mentors in #SquadGoals: 5 Types of Mentors Everyone Needs to Succeed:

"When it comes to achieving success, sometimes we’re too quick to give up. We can allow things like setbacks, fear, loneliness, ego, and false expectations stop us from reaching our goals. But, with the right mentors—a squad comprised of coaches, supporters, and disruptors—we can get ahead in our careers and get through this thing called life.

Here are five types of mentors everyone needs to succeed.

Mentor 1: The Challenger

Taking constructive criticism is hard, but it’s necessary for career advancement. The Challenger is a straight shooter—the one who doesn’t tell you what you want to hear, but tells you what you need to hear. They’re visionaries who embrace disruption, so they’ll challenge you to step outside of your comfort zone and take a risk. And, they won’t tolerate too many excuses.

 Mentor 2: The Industry Insider

When it comes to your chosen field, the Insider knows about the good, the bad, and the ugly. They can help you strategize on ways to navigate the culture, and position you for success."

Check out the full article: 5 Types of Mentors Everyone Needs to Succeed

Lex Reflects:

I really enjoyed this article. I think it is important to remember that a good mentor can serve more than one of these roles, but you also don't want to exhaust that person's capacity to be a resource to you. My mentoring style is definitely that of a challenger. I love pushing my mentees beyond the assumptions, expectations and doubts that they sometimes have. I think my biggest mentoring struggle is the role of cheerleader. I seek constructive criticism, but shy away from positive feedback. As a result, it is also hard for me to be a cheerleader for others. I am proud and excited when my mentees succeed, but I struggle to convey those feelings.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sunday's Best is NOT Monday Dress: Church Clothes vs. Work Clothes

Many young Black professionals in Corporate America find a network, a support system and a morale boost by frequenting Sunday houses of worship. In more traditional church settings suits, ties, dresses and satellite-dish-sculptured hats are common attire.

Church styles are often inappropriate for the corporate office. Despite the recent evolution of corporate fashion, bright colored suits, wide lapels, frilly tops, and satin ties are still deal breakers.