I attended a lunch-time talk last week by a very successful woman banker. She spoke about success in the workplace for women, drawing from her own experiences. This is a topic very close to my heart so I made sure I drank in every word she said.
Here are my key takeaways from the talk –
1. 3 Home Runs every year
Doing just your day to day job well is not going to get you a promotion at work. No one really minds if your presentation is 80% awesome instead of being 100% awesome.
A better use of your time would be to identify 3 big ‘home-runs’ at work for yourself and focus your energies on making these goals successful. That way, it is easy for your boss to root for you at the next promotion meeting.
2. Take time out to develop yourself
Take time out to develop other areas of your personality. You can volunteer for causes you care about, sit on the boards of other for-profit companies, learn a new skill outside of work. This helps you identify a life outside of your job and makes you a much more interesting person.
3. Identify your board of directors and actively seek out sponsors
Sponsors are people who are invested in you – i.e. they have some skin in the game and they really want you to do well. You can only get sponsors when you work with someone closely on an activity… so not everyone can be your sponsor. Mentors on the other hand are well wishers and people who are your advisors. Make sure you have a mix of both in your personal board – and include people who have skills that you aspire to possess.
4. Use logical decision trees to structure your thoughts when faced with emotions at work
This is apart from the taking deep breaths, counting to ten, crying in the bathroom, etc. strategies of course 😉
5. Look professional at all times
(This is not her advice per se, but she carried herself so incredibly well and looked so professional and poised that I felt it was an implicit piece of advice). Add speaking well to that you’ve got yourself a winner.
All the best to fellow women professionals everywhere!