This week’s newletter answers five questions about mentorship and career, one of my favorite topics. You can find more insight on the topics in Five Minutes With, everyone shares what their mentors have taught them and hopefully there are some insightful nuggets for you.
Because I was long-winded, the normally-newsletter exclusive answers will live here today. Enjoy!
Q: What’s the most important piece of career advice you’ve ever gotten?
A: My mentor Amy Flurry imparted upon me the importance of relationships. You never know where someone will land as their career develops, so keeping in touch is crucial to building a lifelong network.
Q: How do I switch gears in my career?
A: Born on Fifth / Bows & Blue is my second career! Prior to that I worked at Spanx for nearly a decade. Either spend your free time honing your skills / things that will help you once you’re ready make a move, or if the career paths are similar, put all of your focus into doing your current job really well, learning all that you can (i.e. getting sent to conferences, leadership workshops, etc. on the company’s dime) and, if you have a trusted relationship, let your current company know your plans about 6 months ahead of time so they can begin to find your replacement. You may even be able to continue to work together on a contractor basis, like I did, while you transition.
Q: Best small business advice when starting out?
A: Find someone to help you with the things you’re not as good at so you can focus on your strengths! For me, accounting is my Achilles heel and it’s been my biggest headache thus far. I should have gotten help much sooner. Worth the investment!
Q: One thing you wish you knew when you were 18?
A: I think I figured out a lot on the fly career-wise, and honed my interests in college! I took risks—wrote the fashion column for the newspaper (which was an early lesson in building a thick skin), was President of my sorority, had internships in New York City, etc. but wish I spent less time worrying about guys! It all worked out 😉
Q: How do you build a strong team?
A: This also comes back to knowing your own strengths! I have been lucky to find two amazing team members but honestly, because I waited probably too long to hire, we haven’t gotten to spend needed time onboarding on everything, so we’re probably not as efficient as we could be. It’s a goal of mine to take more days to get off Instagram and work on the less fun (but important) stuff with the team this year. Hold me to this, Molly 😉 Look for people who have shared values, bring strengths you’re lacking to the table and depending on the role, know that skills can be taught.
Thanks for reading! I plan to bring back the Five Minutes With series, monthly. If there’s someone you’d like to get career advice from or see featured, leave their name in the comments.