As we reach the end of 2017, I am reflecting on the year we have had – political, social and economic unrest have all been key features. Women across the world standing up against sexual harassment and people all over the world continuing to come together to achieve equality for all people. There is still so much work to do. I am sure there will be many more trials along the way, but what we must not forget is our strength as people and our ability to create real change together.
As we enter 2018 I particularly want to share my experience and some advice for young women and men who are entering a new year ready to continue to build their careers and to strive to achieve their full potential. These suggestions are by no means exhaustive, but what I believe to be the most critical and effective.
· Seek out the right mentors
Having a mentor is a start, but making sure that they are a good fit for your ambitions is also critical. They should be someone you respect and admire. They don’t have to work with you; actually sometimes an outside source can offer a more balance view of your situation.
· Build relationships with key sponsors
These are people that work within your organisation who can often act as your voice. They can often have a direct impact on promotions and career development.
· Celebrate colleagues successes
What you focus on expands – so celebrate the victories of those around and you will soon see yourself reaping your own rewards.
· Remember that there is growth in diversity
Find collaborators everywhere. Don’t just stick to people who think like you do. Diversity in every way will bring you new perspectives and build rich experiences.
· Network, network, network
Strong relationships are key to success in business. Keep in touch with your sphere of influence. 70% of corporate hires have some sort of connection
· Continually upgrade your skill-set
Remember to include areas that may not be your area of expertise. For example, even if you aren’t a techy person – the digital world is crucial. Keep up on the latest innovations and what is influencing our world today.
· Additional study
A great way to boost your career prospects is to pursue. The 30% Club offers scholarships for EMBA programs at Henley, Oxford SAID and London Business Schools
· Time management
Being on top of your work and how you manage your time is critical for long-term effectiveness. It creates discipline and allows you to accomplish more with less effort.
· Ask for feedback
Be confident in asking for feedback and being able to receive it constructively (this means listening to criticism, but not dwelling on it).
Being able to measure where you are and where you want to go will allow you to set a clear path for yourself, with clear goals along the way.
· Find balance
Be cognizant of balancing personal and professional commitments. Being personally and professionally fulfilled will help you remain focused and find real pleasure in the everyday as you build both sides of your life.
I hope this provides some food for thought as you enter the New Year and I look forward to meeting, speaking and sharing more with you next year.
Best wishes to you all,
Baroness Mary Goudie