Yesterday was the first in a series of events hosted by me for young, ambitious women in London. The theme was ‘Career Journeys’ and I had a wonderful panel of inspirational yet approachable women to talk us through what they have encountered on their journeys so far. There were so many golden gems of insight and knowledge and I have chosen a few to share with those of you who couldn’t make it to the event.
1. Confidence is key. We all know this one already. Women are less confident than men, and it generally holds us back in the workplace. The panel explained that they have all suffered with lack of confidence as well, but to get ahead at work you need to fake it ’til you make it. No matter how you feel, you need to project confidence – if you don’t believe in yourself, how can you convince others to believe in you?
2. Make them you fans! Building on the confidence point, there has been a lot of talk lately about building your confidence by having a mentor or a sponsor who can champion you. Sarah Wright takes a different view on this. Rather than seeking out mentors, Sarah advises young women to identify key individuals – your manager, influencers in your team etc. – and make them your fans. Be confident, work hard, make yourself indispensable to these key people – make them your fans! Your fans are the people who you will look back on as your mentors.
3. LEAP! Each of the women on our panel has taken a leap – some big some small – at some point in their career, and this has been the defining factor that has led them to ultimate success. There was a lively discussion about what can be defined as a leap, how you know you’re doing it, when you know you’re ready and so on. The key takeaways for me were:
1. Taking a leap means doing something that feels incredibly uncomfortable but that also feels right
2. You don’t need to know that you’re ready – because you probably aren’t. Feel the fear and do it anyway. If you’re not scared, it’s not really a leap.
3. Even if you take a leap and it goes wrong, you’ll regret it less than if you had let the opportunity pass by.
Thank you to my intelligent, inspirational and open speakers for your time and your insight, and thank you to all the young women who came along and left feeling motivated and better equipped to navigate their careers!
Watch this space for the next event – if you’d like to be added to the mailing list, sign up here.
Did you come to the event? Or did you miss it? Let me know what you think of this post or if you have anything to add in the comments 🙂