If you’re a human resources or diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) professional new to a role, you may be anxious to start learning, growing, and thriving in your position. One of the best ways to accomplish everything you want to do (and more) in a brand new role? Seek a mentor.
A seasoned mentor can provide specific, strategic guidance in your profession by helping you avoid their mistakes, giving you helpful advice, and assisting as you navigate through challenges at work. In a brand new role, there’s nothing a new employee wants more than to succeed, understand their new company, and understand the workplace culture.
Here are some helpful tips for succeeding in your new HR role.
Understand your role’s best practices.
When you’re starting a brand new HR or DEI role, it’s very helpful to review best practices for the industry and the role from within your company and the industry at large. Only once you have a solid foundation for the role’s best practices can you grow into it and make it your own. But when you’re brand new to a position, gaining a solid understanding of how others do the job can help you gain solid footing. A mentor can help provide you with best practices, guide you through them, and enable you to feel more comfortable at work. This can be a challenge — especially in the first few weeks! Guidance from a mentor will be much-appreciated during this time period.
Advance your professional network and advocate for your professional best interests. Raises, promotions, and benefit expansions don’t usually come out of nowhere.
Getting matched with a mentor within your new company can help you meet new people, expand your network, gain access to professional development tools, and fit in quickly at your new job. Down the line, they can help you advocate for promotions and raises more quickly than you would on your own, since they are more familiar with the inner workings of the organization. If you are early in your career, this guidance can be especially helpful. It’s not always easy to negotiate for a raise or a promotion, and working with a mentor can help you create some ideas about what to ask for, what to say, and when to make moves.
It’s never too early to start building your network.
The HR and DEI community is incredibly supportive and willing to help, so we recommend starting your networking efforts early on. Reaching out to key influencers in the HR and DEI community is a great way to learn, grow, and connect with others starting in their careers. Consider scheduling a time to interview a few people on this list to gather best practices for your role, ask general questions, and seek strategic advice and input from them about topics of your choosing. If you can’t get a hold of someone specific, try to learn as much as you can from their posts, podcasts, articles, and more.
Here are some of our favorite HR & DEI influencers to learn from.
Adam is a thought leader on LinkedIn, and he regularly shares great content about how to attract and retain employees, company culture, salary transparency, talent mobility, and much more. He would be a great person to learn from about a variety of HR and DEI topics.
Jackye is an incredible DEI advocate, and she hosts the show “But First, Coffee..” where she and other HR professionals discuss trending topics in HR — over coffee, of course. This podcast is a gold mine of HR and DEI tips, trends, and strategies — if you’ve never tuned in, be sure to give it a listen.
Jeanne describes herself as a “workplace visionary,” and she puts a heavy focus on employee retention. She recently wrote an article titled “The future of work is employee well-being,” and we agree! When it comes to employee retention, she’s the one to learn from.
Jennifer is a startup advisor and a DEI coach and strategist. She puts a very heavy focus on diversity and inclusion at work, so definitely follow her to learn more about how workplaces can improve their employee experiences in this area.
Choosing mentorship can only do great things for your HR career, from getting your footing on day one to negotiating your first promotion down the line. Mentorship truly can help employees reach their full potential, especially mentorship from within an organization. Mentorship sets employees up for success, not confusion, figuring it out alone, and feeling lost. It’s common to feel that way when you start a new job, but mentorship can truly help employees jump in and be productive even faster with personalized guidance and support.
The Mentor Method helps companies bring people together through mentorship with tools that increase engagement, improve opportunity, and welcome diverse ideas. The Mentor Method’s online mentoring platform will actually match you with a mentor who already works for a company, so you can start a brand new job on the right foot.
To learn more about the Mentor Method, drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you!