By Natasha Hatherall-Shawe
Nearly 25 years into my career, I like to think I’ve learned a thing or two about climbing the ladder, progression, networking, playing the work game and know the ins and outs of being in business.
A career involves many things today, but hard work aside, what 5 maybe surprising and unexpected tips would I give those starting out or earlier in their careers?
1. Be authentic and be you
When we’re looking to impress and make our mark, it can be all too easy to think we need to act or be a certain way. This can be even more true in certain industries too, look at my own media and pr world for example – it’s not always filled with real and true, far from it in fact. Whilst authenticity and keeping it real are in vogue right now, I firmly believe that when it comes to your career these things should never go out of style and it’s really important to never lose sight of that. It’s important to always remain true to yourself and what you want for yourself. You only get one shot at this life after all and your career is an important part of this. If a company, work colleagues or role isn’t a fit for you, your values and your passions, is it really where you want to spend your days?
2. Don’t accept no for an answer
I don’t believe in accepting no for an answer. If you want something or need to make something happen then don’t take a “no”. Too many people will just accept the no and move on. But those who don’t accept no and keep going until they receive a yes can be the true changemakers. It sounds cheesy, but persistence can pay off.
3. Never stop learning
It’s important to not sit still and every industry is different, and when I say “never stop learning”, I don’t mean formal education, but just the importance of keeping your finger on the pulse, staying up with the latest developments, trends and thinking. Don’t accept the status quo, read, learn from other industries and always be committed to being the best possible version of you and not standing still. When you’re in one spot too long, it’s likely time to move on. Even now today as business owner and the boss, I still have the same urge to try new things, innovate and be better or more full rounded than I was yesterday.
4. Who you work for matters
Aside from working with a brand or company you believe in and want to, the reality is that what does matter is who you have worked with. If people admire those you worked with and think they are amongst the best, this will honestly rub off on you. In all honestly I would not have been as well networked or had the start I did in running my own business if I didn’t have the brands and companies I did on my CV and if I hadn’t worked for the company I did on arrival in the UAE. So, find the best people in your industry and go work for them as few things will be so valuable as working for someone who can teach you everything they know and who has walked a similar path to where you want to go.
5. Say YES more than NO
Now lots has been said in all the books about not always being a people pleaser and a “yes man”, but I’m a firm believe that those who say yes more than no and embrace as many experiences and opportunities as they can definitely go further. Accept invitations to events, attend training courses you don’t have to, meet new people. Yes is how you get new jobs, get promotions, make friends an even maybe meet your spouse!