Have you read any of Jen Sincero’s Badass books? My fab mastermind buddy Susan Payton bought me Jen’s BADASS calendar for Christmas.
I loved this quote on Thursday 3 January because it’s so appropriate for the work that I do, and echos what I tell my clients.
“Taking risks is uncomfortable, but it’s the kind of discomfort that’s equal parts eeek! and hell yeah!”
The truth is that sometimes you need to take risks to make progress in your career. You need to feel the discomfort. Or as Susan Jeffers says “Feel the fear and do it anyway”.
When you have taken one risk, the fear dissipates and it’s easier to take that same risk again, or to try something new.
What also helps me is to remind myself what how and where I feel fear, is typically how and where you feel excitement. If you think you feel fear, just tell yourself you’re feeling excited!
Here then are 7 simple ways to boost your career progress.
Say yes to something when you don’t (yet) know how to do it
If you only do what you’ve always done, you’ll never learn anything new, and you won’t get that promotion. Don’t say ‘no’ to something just because you don’t know ‘how’. Say ‘yes’ and figure it out.
Get involved in something that will allow you to network strategically
One of my best career moves when I was at Arthur Andersen was to join the organising committee for the Annual Dinner Dance for 3000 employees and partners. I worked alongside people at senior management that I would never have had the opportunity to talk to otherwise. You’ve got to get noticed to get promoted.
Put yourself forward for promotion even if you’re not sure you’re ready
Talking to the Global Head of HR at Google a couple of years ago, one comment really struck me. They do promotion rounds every year and invite staff to put themselves forward for promotion. He told me that the men typically apply a year before they’re ready; and women don’t apply until a year AFTER they’re ready. Just go for it. You won’t know unless you try and you’ll learn valuable lessons in the process.
Ask a senior manager you respect to be your mentor
This is one regret I have … I really wished I had asked one particular manager to be my mentor. However I never quite plucked up the courage to ask him to do this on a formal basis. Even if your organisation doesn’t offer a formal mentorship programme, find somebody you respect (in house or elsewhere) to be your mentor.
Invest in a career coach or other personal development
Naturally I have a vested interest in you working with a career or confidence coach. Regardless, I think it’s super important that you value yourself enough to invest in yourself – not just financially but emotionally and timewise too. The powerful thing about working with a coach is that you will reach decisions and take action more quickly than without a coach. If you’re not sure whether it’s time to invest in a career coach, invest in yourself in other ways e.g. enrol on a personal development course, join a networking group, take a new industry qualification.
Volunteer to speak at an event
Now I know some of you are already thinking “No way. No way am I getting up on stage.” I really encourage you to think again. Organisers of industry events, user groups and conferences are always keen to hear from willing speakers. It’s a brilliant way to network. You immediately go up in everybody’s eyes because you got up to speak. You’ll get noticed and remembered for that next opportunity at work.
Apply for that next level job even if you don’t have all the essential criteria
Women are SO good at talking themselves out of applying for a new role or sideways move. Did you know that men will apply for a job if they meet 60% of the qualifying criteria but that women will only apply if they meet 100%. Tara Mohr’s article in Harvard Business Review explores this in more detail. As women, we tend to want to ‘follow the rules’ and ‘not waste another person’s time’ by applying for something we’re not 100% qualified. However when recruiting, nobody expects every candidate to have all the qualifications. Plus team fit, attitude and experiences are just as important.
These then are my 7 simple ways to help you boost your career progress. I’d love to know your thoughts. Which of these are you going to try? I’d love to hear.
#career #coaching #womenintech