I was fortunate enough to be selected to join the Omniwomen UK launch in London last week. And, what an impressive day it was.
We spend so much time planning strategies for our clients, but how much time do we spend plotting the strategy for our own careers? Not nearly enough.
I had many epiphanies on the day, and can’t possibly highlight them all here, but one thing that impressed me was the openness of the senior team to reveal their vulnerabilities. It’s not just me who is a bundle of nerves when I walk into a client meeting. The difference is that these women recognize the triggers and have developed coping strategies eg wearing a bright colour, physically changing their position when they speak and preparing in their own quiet space.
This lack of confidence is certainly something that holds me and many of my peers back. I’m fortunate to be part of a women’s mentoring programme, which has helped me build a network with some amazing, ambitious and inspirational women. We’re each others’ professional support network. We give each other energy when we’re tired, direction when we’re lost and propel each other towards our goals.
There were so many takeaways from the day. As I’m tight for space, here are ten of my favourites:
- Be authentic – do what you believe in and be yourself. People will respond and you will be fulfilled
- Be fearless – what’s the worst that can happen? Usually people will respect you for venturing a different view, and if they don’t, you might be embarrassed for a few minutes
- Ask for what you want – you never know you might just get what you want
- Look at things from the other end of the telescope – when you encounter barriers or push back, there’s usually a good reason, so try and consider things from every person’s point of view
- Find a sponsor and seek out someone to sponsor – seek out someone who will champion you throughout your career helping to build your profile and promote your benefits to others. And, find who you can sponsor. Nothing gives greater satisfaction is helping someone else to succeed
- It’s a duty not a privilege to help others – many of us have been very lucky in life so it’s incumbent upon us to help others who haven’t been so fortunate
- It’s about work/life integration – sometimes you will need to give more attention to your professional life and other times the focus will need to be on your home life. The ‘balance’ will never be the same, but be aware of the two and make sure, in the long run, you are giving something to all areas of your life
- Build your personal board of directors – a group of people either through work or your personal life, who will challenge and question you, helping you to achieve your life ambition
- Ask for help – it’s not a weakness, it’s recognising that we’re all part of a team with complementary skills and strengths – and together we are greater than the sum of our parts
- Run your own race – know where you want to get to, and how you want to get there and don’t be over-reliant on how other people judge you