When I was promoted to Global Head of IT Service in a City law firm, it wasn’t magic. It wasn’t luck or fluke. It wasn’t me being in the ‘right place at the right time’.
Career success happens on purpose
That success happened on purpose. I was clear about what I wanted and that gave me career confidence. I knew my own strengths and talents. I was strategic in my networking. I volunteered to get involved in high profile projects. I coached my team and co-workers so that the whole department raised its performance.
Yes, I did work full-time and I took full advantage of flexible working (you have to when your boss and half your team are based in Chicago). But I got that big promotion when I had two children under the age of 5 and I didn’t work silly hours to get it.
But when you don’t have career confidence:
- You procrastinate and don’t get anything done because you don’t know how to get started.
- You get overlooked for promotion because you’re busy being reactive not proactive.
- You don’t get the right opportunities because you haven’t expressed your skills or ambitions.
- That voice in your head says “are you ready for this?” or “are you sure you are good enough?“
The good news?
It is not so hard to get career confidence and the career success you deserve.
When you have Career Confidence, you know what you want and what is important. You get confident that your career is right for you, get clear on your career goals and how you are going to achieve them. You have a clear strategy in place. And you can balance work and life more confidently.
Decisions feel less daunting. You stop the doubting voice in your head. You feel less overwhelm because you have clarity on what you want so you know where to focus your time and energy. You make your career success happen on purpose without burnout or overwhelm! You get the career success that you deserve.
What I found the Monday before Christmas
The Monday before Christmas, we got down the Christmas decorations. I spotted my old briefcase in the loft and had a quick rummage inside. As I sorted through the paper (mostly rubbish), I came across an old Arthur Andersen appraisal form.
I had just been promoted into a project management role. But it took me away from a team leader role which is what I really loved. My manager thought I was doing brilliantly in the new role. Great! My comments reflect that I was enjoying the new role … but what I notice is how clearly I expressed my leadership ambitions. How clearly do you express your skills and ambitions?
Regular readers know that I’m an action-taker. My ambitions would have been obvious from my actions too.
Even in my 20s, I was very clear about what I wanted and I understood how to make those ambitions clear to those around me.
It doesn’t happen by accident
And that’s the thing. Your career success doesn’t happen by accident. It happens on purpose. You make it happen when you:
- Express your skills and ambitions
- Take action to stand out from the crowd
- Get clear on your career goals
- Focus your time and energy on the ‘right’ things
- Ignore those voices in your head “are you really sure you can do this” (ever heard of the imposter syndrome? It’s one of the topics I discuss with expert Rebecca Pintre during The Confident Mother online conference)
- Put strategies in place to cope with the overwhelm and avoid burnout
- Get career confident
When you have Career Confidence, you know what you want, what is important and how you are going to get it: your career, your goals, your strategy, your actions and most importantly, how to balance work and life.
How I help create career confidence
I have a simple step by step process I work through to create career confidence. My next Career Confidence intake starts in February. This is perfect for you if you are looking for a career and confidence boost before going back to work after a career break or maternity leave.
It’s also for you if you are in a career and want that next promotion, you’re taking on new leadership responsibilities, you’re thinking about a sideways move or change of scenery. Or simply to get clarity that you’re in the right career.
How to get the career success you deserve
If you want 2017 to be THE year that you get the career success that you deserve, here’s what you need:
- Understanding of your own skills, talents, strengths and experience (if you’re on my mailing list, did you see the 30 Brilliant Things action sheet I put in your Christmas stocking?)
- Clarity on what you want from your career i.e. your career goals
- Identify what is most important for you (understanding your core values is always the first step when I work with clients one-to-one or in a group)
- Inner confidence to stand up for what you believe is right
- Willingness to express your skills and ambitions
- Courage to take action and stand out from the crowd
- An action plan that makes direct progress towards your goals (my sticky brainstorming tool is a starting point)
- Strategies to quieten those voices in your head “are you really sure you can do this” or “I’m going to get found out soon”
- Self-care tools to avoid overwhelm and burnout
Now that might sound like a long list but I bet you’ve got some of those taken care of already and you’re reading this because you do have confidence and courage. And there’s no doubting your ability, your experience and your talents.
So what’s holding you back? What’s missing?
What’s holding you back then? What’s stopping you from getting the career success you deserve?
You might be lacking clarity. Or you’re not getting taken seriously. Or your voice isn’t getting heard. You’re being overlooked for promotion or assumptions are made about your ambitions. You’re working hard but maybe you’re not working on the right things. Or you simply don’t know where to start (so you don’t).
Take time today to think about what you need to get the career success that you deserve.
One very small step to take today
I love to help ambitious women get clear on what they really want and then go and get it. And that’s why every January, I run The Confident Mother online conference.
One very small step you can take today is to sign up and get access to the expertise and wisdom from more than 25 inspirational women and leading experts. They share their approach to confidently balancing work and life so you can too.
Topics range from imposter syndrome to leadership mindset; from self-care to speaking up at meetings; from making the most of your LinkedIn profile to stand out from the crowd to productivity. What’s more, it’s all free.
I’d love to see you there.
p.s. here’s your incentive to get Career Confidence today
My next intake for Career Confidence starts in February. However you have an incentive to get started right now (instead of waiting until the New Year). Book your Career Confidence today and you’ll get a substantial (as in 50%) discount. Find out more about the 6 week programme and what else you get here.