Hello SOTGC community,
Before I actually found one, every time someone would use the word “mentor” around me I would outwardly look at them with interest and attention, and inwardly be laughing (probably pointing and laughing) at HOW ridiculous that sounded. Then I found my mentor and now I look closely into people’s eyes when I use that word to see if there is inward pointing and laughing going on. The above picture is my mentor Jeremy, handing me the prized Rolex Club Award that he supported me in winning. At the bottom of the post is a picture of us and two of the other account managers he supported in achieving the Pinnacle Club status (top 10 account managers in the company).
As I have said in other posts, prior to getting into medical device sales, I had a good amount of business-to-business sales experience. My goal had always been to get into Medical since I have a love for science as well as business. The recruiter I had at the time warned me that this was for a surgical device sales position, and most hiring managers won’t even grant an interview since I have no medical degree, nor experience. After reading about the product and company I was determined to get the job so I assured the recruiter that if SHE got me the interview…I would get the job.
The hiring manager (now known as my mentor) happened to be an open minded individual who believed in talent, hunger, and ambition over a pedigree in the industry and years of experience.
From the moment I signed the hiring papers he worked tirelessly with me, supported me, fought for me when it took me awhile to start up a brand new territory and to do it the right way, and never once did I hear any disappointment or negativity from him.
The point of this post, is that it is crucial for a young woman to find a mentor. (click to Tweet that!) Whether it’s a male or female, find someone who works in a position above you, who shares your passion and energy, who appreciates all that you bring to the table and helps to strengthen your attributes and make you aware of your weaknesses so you can work around them.
Ladies, let’s be honest, we are emotional creatures. It’s part of what can set us apart from and excel past some or all of our male colleagues, if it is contained. We need that emotional support that a strong mentor provides. I picked a person in a position of power in the company, who truly believed in helping anyone who was willing to pour their heart and soul into their job, who had the ability to fight for me when I needed it and the sensitivity to proverbially pick me up and brush me off when I’d stumble. I also picked someone that I would probably not surpass since it’s hard for me to take direction from someone who I think I can pass up.
A mentor is worth their weight in gold. Try and have once a week conversations with them about work, or goals, or ideas. Pick someone who won’t be jealous of your success, or try and slow down your energy or ideas. Ideally, find someone who will turn into a second family for you and who you can stand behind because you know they will always be there for you, and who will give you a solid kick in the pants when you need it (not literally because I’m pretty sure that would be an HR issue).
In the cut throat world we live in, this is sometimes hard to find. That being said, a good, strong, and loyal mentor can be found in any company, and is worth searching out.
Marney Reid is a Marketing Program Manager for a global industry leader in medical device. She is also the Founder of Stilettos on the Glass Ceiling. She has nine years of sales experience in male dominated industries and is transcending the Glass Ceiling by using her authentic value proposition as a competitive advantage.