1. Work Hard – If you don’t produce outstanding results, you won’t attract the notice of people who can propel your career forward – I agree the successful women in business I know work hard to over-deliver and are generally passionate about their work which is an important part of their lives. They don’t begrudge it so I think finding passion is key.
2. Do work no one else wants to do – Stepping up when no one else will is a great way to get noticed. I think sometimes it’s good to take a bit of risk and push yourself out of your comfort zone – as long as you deliver, it’s a great way of getting noticed.
3. Cultivate the people in charge – Work out who has the most powerful voice and then devise strategies to attract their interest in your career – No matter what level you’re at you should have a mentor as they can help you with this.
4. Know what you want and go for it – Being clear about your goals is paramount – I can’t tell you the amount of Club members that reiterate the importance of a plan and if you don’t have a goal you can’t have a plan.
5. Promote yourself legitimately – If no one knows about the great work you are doing, you might as well be invisible – Great advice people are generally interested in what’s going on in the business so why not tell them about your work/projects.
6. Network with your peers – Don’t make the mistake of only seeking sponsorship from people above you. Some of the people you work with could help you rise in the ranks – Interesting, until recently I’ve always had a tendency to network with peers and not superiors but actually you do need to do both. Networking should be part of your plan –it’s crucial to success whatever level you’re at – the wider your outreach the greater your influence.
7. Make your own career – If a position you want doesn’t exist, create it. Similarly, if you don’t have the mentors and sponsors helping you get to the next opportunity, get there yourself – You need a plan and this is also related to point 2. This worked for me, I took on extra responsibility in an area that interested me and spotted a gap in the business, as a result a role I loved was created with me in mind.
8. Leave to get ahead – Sometimes you can fast track your career by walking out the door. This can be scary but if you have a plan it will help guide you towards your next move, if internal opportunities aren’t available you’ll need to look elsewhere, it’s good to network outside your organisation that way you’ll be front of mind if the right opportunities arise.
9. Dress well and play golf – You don’t need a bespoke suit, but you do need to avoid walking around in flats and khakis with a sweater set. The image you present is a key part of your personal brand, recently someone told me dress for the job you want. I think the golf bit is about accepting that business is conducted in a variety of situations and you need to work out how to make sure you are where it’s happening wherever possible.
What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts.