In light of International Women’s Day, I’ve taken some time to reflect on my career so far and the people who have helped me. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my support network, comprised of my friends and family, and those mentors and colleagues that supported me along the way.
In a recent column for Fortune, I shared three ways my support network has helped me be successful in my career, and the importance of giving in return. Here are three ways you can be bold and create your own seat at the table.
1. Don’t wait for your mentors to come to you
Mentorship will prove to be an integral part of your support network. Finding a mentor may seem like an intimidating task, but you’ll be surprised at how willing most people are to share their time if you just ask. Research the influencers and experts in your industry who may have some invaluable insights for you. Be bold and reach out to them. People like to share their wisdom with the next generation – especially when plied with caffeine or lunch. So don’t be afraid to capitalize.
The mentors who will inspire and motivate you the most will push you to take risks, offer you challenging roles before you feel like you’re ready and be tough but fair. They’ll believe in your ideas knowing that, if you stumble, it’s an opportunity to get back up, learn and grow. Look for these types of people to help you be successful.
While it’s important to seek support from others, never forget to do the same for others. Offer your time, resources and support to people both inside your office and out. Those who give, especially at work, thrive. If you lift people up, they will do the same.
We spend a considerable portion of our lives at work, so if you and the people around you support each other on a two-way street, you’ll be focused, aligned on your purpose — with your opportunity top-of-mind. Teams full of believers who dream big provide motivation and help each other — providing the knowledge that nobody is alone.
3. Don’t let others define you
People will try to define you if you let them. I, myself, have been pigeonholed in the past. But I decided that I wanted to be something else, so I made it happen. Decide what you want to do, who you want to be — and if you want to be a part of something, be aggressive and make it your platform.
This type of determination requires strong feelings of self-worth and confidence from within. Developing this sense of self-esteem may be more important than support from others, but it won’t grow overnight. When you see an opportunity to bolster yourself, take it. If you’re, say, looking for the courage to speak up in a meeting full of your superiors or people with more experience, know that your fresh perspective has value, and the right people will start to take notice if you make your voice heard.
Be bold, take control, and get your own seat at the table.
You can read the full Fortune article here.
The post Women in business: How to create your own seat at the table appeared first on Xero Blog.