Let's start dropping gender from job titles and reminding women how few have got to the top. We should show that if you get after it you can make it, to dream big, and that there are no limits to what you can achieve.
So “how can I do it” is a question that continuously comes up from exceptional women. They tend to be just below management level and are struggling to get the opportunity to step up in their current firm, and are often passed over for external opportunities due to lack of experience.
You have been working for a number of years, have solid experience under your belt and it’s your turn to move up into a leadership position. What are some of the things you can do to put yourself in the best position to advance your career?
My advice is to focus on the things you can control, and forget the rest.
- Think about your career as a business.
Imagine you are the CEO of your career and set about goal setting and planning your way forward. Don’t wait for your employer to provide the opportunities for your development, take ownership and be proactive or it is unlikely to happen.
- Is leadership the path you want?
So much of what we are taught early on in our careers is centred around moving up the corporate ladder and team management for many of us represents progression. I challenge you to think about the aspects of your job you love, the things you are good at, and whether management is the path you want to take. If your strengths lie somewhere else that is ok too, many people build great careers without managing teams. Double down on your strengths.
- Look for opportunities to lead outside of work.
There are plenty of places outside of work that provide an opportunity to lead and for you to start to understand what it really means. Think about the best leader you know, what makes them great, and start to develop the same behaviours and qualities.
- Think about how to stay visible.
Technology has made this way easier now. Network within your company and arrange virtual coffees with people across the organisation. Participate in virtual networking events, join committees, and make sure all your social media platforms are up to date.
- Education, education, education.
Have a growth mindset and continually look for learning opportunities. Think about the skills you might need to have in the future and set about acquiring them.
- Engage + contribute to the conversation.
Social media platforms provide us with such a fantastic opportunity to connect with people and share our content. Platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Clubhouse etc are all free to use and distribute your content to an outstanding amount of people, use it! Search for content that is relevant to you and start liking and commenting. The people that you want to meet will start noticing you.
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“For years I realised what was holding me back most was my lack of self-belief to ‘dare’ to contribute and challenge – especially in a larger group. I would often wait until meetings were over, but now feel comfortable to speak up and accept any potential push-backs for what they are and not take them personally.” – CEO Healthcare
Take a closer look on what we do: www.bentleylewis.com/expertise