A decade ago, female leadership coach Danielle Moens started our SHINE program. A two-day training program during which professional women learn Strategies to Help them Into the NExt level. Today, Danielle shares with you her 13 tips to take your career into your own hands.
# 1 Feel Pride
Be proud of your achievements. Your contribution is the results of hard work, there was no chance or luck involved in your success. Dare to take credit and don’t hesitate to talk about what you have achieved. This will reflect positively on your entire team.
# 2 Keep Focus
Did you know that 20% of your activities yield 80% of your results? Focus on those activities that are most productive for you. Don’t get distracted by what others think you should be doing at a given time. Multitasking can be a trap.
# 3 Show Courage
Dare to leave your comfort zone. Surround yourself with colleagues or managers who push you to question and challenge your boundaries of comfort. This will stimulate your growth and it will open your eyes to interesting projects you might have been hesitant to apply for in the past.
# 4 Be Visible
Start or continue to expand your network. Building your network means meeting new people, getting inspired by others and gaining knowledge. Build it up and benefit from it. By asking your network things you create visibility for yourself, your team, your organisation and your accomplishments.
# 5 Find a mentor
A mentor is someone from within or outside your organisation that has more seniority (+2 levels, but not in your direct report line), and that can help you develop your career. Don’t hesitate to contact an inspiring person that you want to learn from, state your ambitions and ask them to mentor you.
# 6 Negotiate for You
Negotiate to get what you want, what do you have to lose? Want a training, coaching, more flexibility, feedback, better pay, a promotion…? Reframe your thoughts, prepare the ‘why’ and the ‘what’s in it for them’. Communicate directly and negotiate for yourself as if you were doing it for your best friend.
# 7 Delegate
Make the conscious decision to delegate more at work and at home. Being in control of everything is impossible and not good for your productivity. Give others the opportunity to grow by giving them responsibilities of their own. Delegate to empower.
# 8 Find a Coach
Look for a coach who can support you in your ambitions and help you with your development points. Having a coach will help you increase your self-awareness, self-knowledge and self-confidence.
# 9 Empower Others
Getting the title of ‘role model’ for others might sound scary, but in practice you might already be one. Help others when you get the chance, pass on knowledge and don’t forget to mention any life/career lessons you learned along the way. Be the woman that supports and empowers other women.
# 10 Manage your Energy
What makes you gain energy and what drains your energy? Check your body and soul: make time for exercise and relaxation, and try to reframe any emotional energy drainers or negative thoughts. Knowing what gives or takes away your energy will allow to choose your activities more thoughtfully.
# 11 Welcome Feedback
While men get plenty of useful career feedback that is specifically about their work, women often have to settle for feedback on their style or overall workplace behaviour. This might hold back your career. Don’t hesitate to ask for feedback from managers or team members regularly and don’t forget to give back feedback in return. Try to approach it as a learning opportunity and try not to take it personal.
# 12 Connect with People
Informal contacts can provide information on what’s going on in the company, they will allow for others to get to know you better and help build trust within your team. After establishing mutual trust, others are more willing to cooperate and share, making your work more efficient and improving your overall results.
# 13 Perfection doesn’t Exist
Perfectionism is often a sign of insecurity. Enhance your self-confidence by focusing on what you are capable of instead of what you still have to learn. Get rid of your unrealistic self-image and the impossible expectations you have of yourself. Embrace imperfections, celebrate your qualities and talents as they are and learn to let go. Lower the bar, and you will make room to believe in yourself and others, and to enjoy and be proud of your own achievements.
Want to learn how to put these career tips into practice? What actions you should or should not take to live by these tips? Join us for one of the next two-day SHINE programs. Register here.