Having celebrated my five year work anniversary recently, and with it being International Women’s Day today, it seemed a good time to look back on lessons that I’ve learned during my career.
And with the positive wave of change taking place, so much more is now achievable for women. The IWD’s 2019 campaign theme – #BalanceForBetter – sends a very clear message to businesses: you need to be more transparent about what the future looks like for everyone, but especially for women.
There’s a long way to go but it’s great to see that there is a bigger emphasis on flexibility, allowing women to juggle their careers and family life more effectively. For working mums returning to work, it should be a joyful not stressful time!
Based on my experience working as a trainer in recruitment and sales for the past 13 years, these are my three top tips to progress your career:
1) Find an environment where you can reach your goals.
Sometimes no matter how hard you work to make your mark, you just might not be able to take your career to the next level in your current organisation. While this can be frustrating and demoralising, the key is to recognise that you’ve done everything you can, be true to yourself, and then look for an alternative path. Remember, this is your career, not just a job, so don’t be afraid to embrace change and look for new, exciting opportunities.
2) Be bold and let people know what you want.
Whatever direction you want to take, make sure that you’re vocal about it and that the powers that be are aware. Don’t be shy about your ambition – there’s no point keeping it to yourself! If, for example, you decide to transition into something different, and you’ve proved your worth, you should feel confident to broach the subject with the people that matter. Any company worth its salt will want to retain talented and trustworthy people.
3) Keep learning and grab every opportunity to upskill.
Irrespective of your level in the organisation, adopt a learning mindset. Talk to colleagues, ask questions, attend events, go to conferences – always look for ways to increase your knowledge. Feel that you need to gain a recognised qualification? Talk to your manager about it and see if there is financial support available. Or find a free course online to pick up a new skill. Never stop learning!
Whether you’re just starting out or you’re already an established professional, follow these steps and you’ll constantly be adding to your skills, become more marketable, people will perceive you differently and you’ll hit those promotions. Importantly, you’ll be a lot happier at work.