Do you ever feel you are swimming upstream, struggling to be acknowledged for your efforts in the workplace, whist others are being promoted around you? Many women have a tendency to wait to be asked to take on more responsibility, rather than seeking out opportunities for themselves, but taking charge of your own career-path can result in surprising rewards.
“Your career is your responsibility,” said Kay White, executive career coach and founder of U.K.-based Way Forward Solutions. “You need to understand what you want versus what your boss wants, and be in charge of driving your career bus in the direction you want to go.
“When you take responsibility for yourself, that’s when you become more nimble and agile which will open up more opportunities,” she added.
White encourages women to be resilient and to keep trying if they don’t achieve success on the first attempt. Find out what more you need to do to reach your goal and try again, she suggests.
Having a thorough and up-to-date knowledge of industry news and changes is also essential for putting yourself on the path to success.
“Pay attention, network, talk to people and read articles so you start to see the writing on the wall and you’ll be able to foresee opportunities as well as threats that may be coming,” advised White.
“Position yourself like you are a commodity,” she added. “Look for ways you can use your expertise to bring value.”
Raising your profile in the office is another important element of driving your career progression.
“Ask yourself what do you want to be known for,” said White. “How do you want to spoken about when you’re not in the room? What are your own unique skills and abilities?”
White has identified eight principles within a continuous cycle for career progression:
- Embrace expansion: Take ownership and credit for your achievements
- Discover what’s out there: Stay on top of what’s happening in the industry
- Prepare, plot and plan: Update your resumé and prepare to present your best self
- Leverage your connections: Network and seek guidance from those around you
- Shine in interviews and appraisals: Be well prepared to sell your attributes
- Negotiate more for yourself: Ask for the things you want, whether it’s a pay-rise, flexible hours or more opportunities
- Accept and move on with grace and gratitude: Don’t burn bridges behind you
- Your first 100 days and beyond: Make a plan for getting ahead in your new role
White spent 20 years in international insurance broking before founding Way Forward Solutions. She is the author of two best-selling books; The A-Z of Being Understood and It’s Always Your Move.