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We're Ready to Feel Well In Our Careers.

Oct 19, 2021

“Work is becoming more complex…but also more interesting,” says Mento co-founder & co-CEO Jamie Albers. “How can you use this moment to]have a more meaningful, fulfilling, and balanced career?”

On September 21, our first-ever Career Wellness Summit gave us the opportunity to (virtually) put our heads together and discuss this particular moment in time, where millions of people have decided to change their career and life trajectories. As devastating as the COVID-19 pandemic has been on the world, it has also given many the opportunity to reevaluate their situations and look for ways to ensure their work is actually working for them. We’re all about that at Mento. So, how do we cultivate a career that puts wellness at the forefront?

That depends on what you’re looking for in a career now. For some, having optimal health and wellness in their job may mean working for companies that align deeply with their values – while others may care more about the company culture, opportunities for growth, and overall access to a genuinely supportive and flexible work environment. We believe in a holistic approach to career wellness. Though our careers and lives are ever-evolving, we’ve seen that there are core ingredients to feeling happy and healthy in our professional lives: finding roles that inspire us to grow, surrounding ourselves with people who trust and support us, and living fully outside of the office.

The methodology behind our approach at Mento considers the above elements when helping you evolve into the career (and person) you want. Finding the right fit is a journey in and of itself, so keep these in mind as you build yours:

  • The right job: Excitement about what you do that aligns with your values.
  • The right people: An engaging community of peers that support you & help you feel belonging.
  • Work-life balance: The ability and trust with your employer to integrate your life with work and live outside of it.

At our summit, we heard from founders, inspiring and thoughtful professionals, and Mento Coaches on how they think, approach, and integrate these core values into their own careers.

Let’s break down each, and how you can apply their approaches into your own work and life.

The right job

So often, we’re mired in the big questions: “Am I at my dream job? Am I where I am supposed to be? What do I even want?!”

But your “dream job” can and will change alongside you as you move through different phases of your life. What’s more important is having a job that fulfills you, challenges you, and helps you grow. Now more than ever, work is bleeding into our personal lives – especially in the shift to remote work.

As we reevaluate our priorities and how we spend our time, we’re now looking to find careers that match our values, so ask yourself:

  • Do I like what my company does?
  • What is my company’s mission and does it align with how I see the world?
  • Do I feel good about the impact I’m making on the wider community and the people that I work with?
  • Does my job enable me to grow and develop personally and professionally?
  • Do I generally feel good about what I’m doing?

We are moving into an era of work where it’s easier than ever to move around, follow your curiosities, and be true to what matters to you. Your identity doesn’t need to be tied to your career, but it should be aligned with it.

The right people

As we change jobs more often and our working lives are no longer centered around a physical office, we’re expanding the definition of what “community” means in our careers. It’s a lot more than just the people at your company.

Your career community is made up of those invested in your professional and personal growth, a steadfast support system of mentors, coaches, confidantes, and friends. Increasingly, we’re looking to develop authentic, meaningful connections and rewarding relationships with peers and like-minded individuals who we can learn from and grow with consistently.

"People won't remember what you say, but they will remember how you make them feel." — Adam Alpert, Founder, Pangea App

Here’s what our panelists had to say:

  • Build a community over time: be intentional, but don’t spread yourself too thin. Find people that energize and support you, and stay connected with them.
  • Everyone's community is distinct: it might be coworkers, friends, mentors, folks in slack communities, group coaching, etc. They should be a collection of people who you can turn to for feedback (on projects or during job searches), honest conversations, and celebration (like when you get a promotion) and who, in turn, can expect the same from you.
  • Be thoughtful, and don’t be afraid to ask for people’s time. They will feel more invested when you ask for support. Make a list of people you’d like to connect with, and reach out to them once per quarter.
  • Look for relationships beyond your company. Join Slack groups, reach out to alumni or former college friends. Join a community of like-minded professionals or give group coaching a try.
  • Even the most extroverted of us can have anxiety around networking. It’s completely normal. Think of it more like a regular practice that you'll get better at over time. Consider working with a leadership coach, or ask someone you trust for advice to help you work through it.

Work-life balance

Burnout is the biggest motivation killer. And we are seeing it more than ever right now – 66% of people report feelings of burnout. Even if you have a job that you love with people that you can rely on, you can still experience fatigue if you aren’t setting boundaries with working hours or load.

At Mento, we help you advocate for yourself – whether that be to your manager or during the job search. Your job won’t do the inner work for you, so it’s your responsibility to recognize your value in the organization and trust your voice enough to speak up to leadership and say, “No.” Don’t be afraid to be strict with when and how you work (eg. not feeling like you need to immediately respond, saying no to projects outside of scope).

Much of achieving a healthy work-life balance is about what you do outside of “on” hours, too. Rest is not an action but rather a state of mind; you need to consciously choose to turn your mind away from work to hobbies that differ in goal and action. We need to give our brains a chance to rest and be challenged in other ways.

"Rest is not something you DO, its a state of mind you are IN" — Ariela Safira, Founder, Real

Look to cultivate a career that meets your individual needs and preferred work style, so you can feel energized and engaged, and bring your best self. A few questions to ponder on or ask during interviews:

  • How has the pandemic changed the company’s culture?
  • How do they grow and develop their employees?
  • How do people communicate? Is there an expectation of always-on communication? Is the company meeting-heavy?
  • What are the maternity and paternity leave policies?
  • What are the opportunities for internal growth and mobility? Do they prefer to grow their people internally or hire externally?
  • What’s the culture of the team I’m working on?

Take a moment for you

Following the above pillars as you take this moment to build a career you love will help you stay focused. Life is hectic, but developing yourself as a professional doesn’t have to be done alone.

So, what can you do right now to bring wellness into your work? Here are a few different ideas:

  • If you’re on the job search or in a transition, make a list of your “must-haves” for your next role to help you stay focused while applying. Think of it like additional details to a job description that you’ve created yourself.
  • For those currently in a role, start setting boundaries. Schedule a 1:1 with your manager to discuss what is and isn’t working and what can be done to change it.
  • For everyone: do one thing for yourself outside of work. Try incorporating healthy habits into your workday, such as starting off with meditation before you check emails or exercising in the evenings before bed.

Now is the perfect time to start a new chapter to create a fulfilling career by just taking simple steps. We are in the midst of a once-in-generation moment to change how we work. Take advantage of this moment and do what works for you.