A few years ago a client told me the story of how she came to be a partner in her current firm.
She had been with the firm her whole career, since graduating. She was great at her job, well respected and she worked really hard to please clients and her bosses.
As the years went by she progressed through the ranks of seniority. However for 3 years in a row she was “passed over” for partnership, while she watched others in the firm get the tap on the shoulder.
Eventually she got mightily peeved at the state of affairs and decided she had to resign.
Marching into her supervising partner’s office she delivered her carefully prepared speech on how disappointed she was to have given the best years of her career – and life – to the firm only to be ignored for promotion.
When she eventually stopped talking, she said her supervising partner (who had been sitting silently, listening to her diatribe) looked at her quizzically before saying
“So, you’re telling me you actually want to be a partner of this firm? We had no idea.”
My client had been so busy doing all the things she believed would bring promotion, that she hadn’t focused on the key elements required to progress – which included actually telling the relevant people that’s what she wanted!
She had been running the classic career strategy of “head down, bum up”, otherwise known as working hard and hoping she would get tapped on the shoulder.
Work Hard and KNOW
I shared this story with 30 professional women who attended my Speak Up and Speak Out workshop last week. There were many nodding heads when I asked the room “Could this happen to you too?”
My goal is to help you make sure it doesn’t.
I’m all for working hard – in fact, I’m one of the hardest workers I know! But there’s a difference when you do the things you know are required to get ahead in your career, rather than those you hope will get you there.
A Model For Success
In learning to move from Insignificant to Influencer in your career, there are 3 key areas you can work on to help you feel confident that you won’t fall prey to the “Head down, bum up” strategy.
Presence: Every thing you do, say and think reflects on how you are perceived. Pay attention to the message you convey, make sure you are seen and heard in the right places (and for the right reasons), and commit to becoming a master communicator.
Positioning: Ensure you are positioned for success by creating a compelling profile (online and offline), fostering strong personal and professional relationships, and focusing on becoming a top performer in your field.
Power: Step into your power and take ownership of your talents, strengths and skills. Invest in your own personal development, understand what makes you uniquely you, and choose growth over comfort.
To achieve the success in your career you want, you need to believe anything is possible. But it’s not enough just to believe. You have to reach out and grab the opportunities waiting for you – and sometimes you even have to go out there and create the opportunities yourself. Learn to Speak Up and Speak Out – and achieve more than you ever dreamed of.
P.S. Did you know I run workshops in-house for women? Email me or call me on 0407 813221 to discuss your organisation’s needs and how I can help engage your women on topics related to building their profile, networks and (where appropriate) business.