‘Be the CEO of your own career’! These were the inspiring words of Zelia Madigan, MD of Ericsson Ireland at a WXN Breakfast Meeting on November 21st (Women’s Executive Network). Although this was a female event, her sage words of advice equally apply to us all.
Zelia’s Top Five Tips on How to Succeed in your Career
Take Risks – Sometimes we all need to get out of the comfort zone and push ourselves forward. Zelia gave the example of applying for jobs she knew she wouldn’t get, so she’d be seen by the interview panel, meet people she didn’t know and get them talking about her. As Zelia described it, ‘There are several trains leaving the station and you will get on the right one eventually’. Taking on any new job can be a risk and this is why many people choose to stay in roles that they’ve outgrown. However, if the time is right to move on, don’t be afraid to take the risk. If you don’t try it, you will never know! We must learn to adapt to new environments and be confident in ourselves. Treat each obstacle as a challenge to be overcome.
Network – Get Noticed! To get ahead it is vital to be seen, raise your profile and promote yourself (internally & externally). You might be great at your job and be very task focused, but you need to get noticed! Networking is key and we should all make time for it. Have courage and don’t be afraid to talk to people at events – don’t wait for people to come to you. Even if you think someone is too important to talk to, the chances are that other feels the same! That person will probably be happy to have someone to talk to! Cultivate your network and seek out sponsors/mentors as they can help to push you forward and act as advocates on your behalf. They can also connect you to other people and get people talking about you. Zelia said that her cultivation of sponsors has been instrumental to her career.
Know Your Self – to be at your best. Find out what you are good at and do that! People excel in what they have a natural tendency towards.
Actively seek feedback and work on it. Zelia said that this was one of the secrets to her success. If she was turned down for a job, she would seek out why and ask what she could do to succeed next time. Spend time working on your areas for development. Embrace the 360 degree review!
Be the CEO of your career – only you can make it happen! Imagine where you want to be in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years and act on it.
Life is short, so make the most of the time that you have!
Susan Murdock ~ Full-Time MBA Programme Manager