by Natasha Hatherall-Shawe
Career success can be hard to navigate and yes, we hate saying it, but especially as a woman, when the stereotypes of “bossy” or “cut throat” female professionals only discourage us from climbing the ladder. But as we fight for an equal seat at the table, we must do just that and as a company CEO and regular hirer I thought I’d share some of my tips on how to get ahead at work.
Never stop learning
Even now 20 years on in my career I book an hour in my diary each week to do a LinkedIn Learning session, read online articles or read a business book. My industry is changing all the time and I want to ensure I know what’s going on as it happens and have insights and a viewpoint at all times. It’s essential to invest in being the best you can be and in continual learning. There is so much online now, it doesn’t even have to cost you anything. If you’re not doing it, you can guarantee one of your colleagues will be.
Show some passion
One of the things that always stands out for me is someone with true love and passion for what they do. One of the secrets to success, as cheesy as it sounds is to love what you do and it will show through anything else I promise. If you find something you enjoy doing it won’t feel like work and it becomes effortless as you learn and progress. Flipside, I can also see through someone who is hating what they do or going through the motions and that will never inspire me to promote or nurture that person on a career path that likely isn’t for them. I will however have a very honest conversation if this is the career for them and see how I can help them get somewhere that does make them happier.
Celebrate your wins
Something I am definitely guilty of is being so busy that I don’t celebrate my wins and successes. As you go along it’s so important to pause, look back at how far you’ve come, what you’ve achieved and celebrate. This will help you keep perspective and drive momentum keeping you going forward. With so many things going on celebrating our wins always seems to be the one we lose which is wrong as it’s important in not only your career but your overall wellbeing. As part of this make sure you have goals set, weekly, monthly and annual and regularly check in against them. These may be different from the KPIs your company sets you, but are just as important as these, will be the ones that keep you personally focused. Be seen as a celebrator of all wins for your team too – it all helps so much with morale and keeping everyone on track.
Things change all the time and whilst we as humans don’t generally like change, it’s important we find ways to adapt and be agile in times of change. Those who can’t embrace it will find themselves left behind and ultimately it can hamper progress. Even if you’re sitting there at your desk thinking “not again”, or want to hide, take a deep breath, step forward and have an inner pep talk with yourself – what’s the worst that can happen?
Know your worth
Nothing makes me happier than when one of my team comes to me to ask for a promotion with a well put together pitch summarizing their value and why they deserve it. Everyone needs to know their worth and fight for what they deserve, male or female. Knowing your worth and pushing for it is so important – but make sure it’s backed with evidence and shows value to the business and its performance and trust me the rest will follow.
Ultimately, you are in control of your life, or your career and future path. No-one else – you! So, if you’re sitting there dreaming about what you’d rather be doing with your time, then maybe what you’re doing today isn’t right for you. Always keep a regular eye on why you’re doing something and how you’re feeling and trust me if you stay tuned in, everything is possible and you will get to where you need to be, even with a few bumps in the road along the way!