Discipline is what separates the women from the girls. The women who always get ahead are the ones who are bold enough to go after what they want. They are strong and steadfast. They have a target and aim to meet it. In a world where females still face invisible barriers and have to fight tooth and nail for a spot at the boardroom table, it is imperative that you start thinking outside the box, especially if you have your eye on a salary increase, a promotion, a career transition, a new business venture and more. The opportunities are endless, but you have to know what you want in order to prepare for it. Mama always told us that good things come to those who wait, but she forgot to mention that if you drag your heels you will get stepped on by someone who wants it more.
“Normal gets you nowhere.” – Kelly Cutrone
One thing I do know for sure is that just working between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. doesn’t cut it. The average chick clocks in and out right on time. You are smarter than that because you realize that a little bit of effort separates good from great. Learning takes place both in and out of the classroom, in this case, the office. It’s all about being strategic and making clever, swift moves that will get you noticed and more importantly make you memorable.
“Be phenomenal or be forgotten.” – Eric Thomas
Speaking from personal experience, when I first started working as a journalist at Mediaplanet Publishing House Canada back in December of 2010, I knew that I was the new girl on the block and had to, someway and somehow, make myself known in a pack of more than a dozen other writers. So immediately I put pen to paper and cultivated a master plan. First, I sent a huge basket of goodies to the office for the holidays [as a writer, I work from home so not only was this a surprise but chocolate also puts a smile on everyone’s face, esp. my boss]. Secondly, I made myself available for any and every assignment which meant for a while I didn’t have a personal life. It was a sacrifice I had to make in order to get a head. Picture me bending over backwards to get the story no matter what; whether it was interviewing award-winning actress Olivia Newton-John at 3 o’clock in the morning about her breast cancer journey, hiring a French tutor the moment I heard there were job openings for bilingual journalists, writing news reports about topics that I had little to no interest in, or pulling back to back all-nighters to meet deadlines. I had all my bases covered. I didn’t settle on being the average girl, I aimed to be the go-to girl and over time as I proved myself, I did just that. The benefits of the seeds I planted were incredible. In less than one year, I became a nationally published journalist with a roster of celebrity interviews under my belt. My confidence as a writer grew and gave me the balls to I needed to pursue other important projects within my organization. This is just one example.
There’s always a bit of new-girl-on-the-block anxiety when approaching a new phase of your life or career, but what motivates me the most is the fear of being in this same spot next year. And I have a feeling you don’t want that to happen either. Below are 5 bits of advice to help you move forward in your career and knock your boss’ socks off. Trust me, if you put in some overtime, you will create a life-time of success.
- 1. Your best ideas will not come to you in the office
Oddly enough, my best ideas come to me when I’m day dreaming. For you, they may come to you when you’re working out, meditating or out with friends. You can’t chase dreams from the couch so get out of the house and experience life. Get inspired.
- 2. If you’re going to do something, do not do it half-ass.
Bring your A game. Develop a reputation for consistent excellence. Whatever the task, even if you dread doing it, give it 100%. Always think about how you can expand on the task you’ve been given and kick it up a notch. No one should have to tell you this. Taking this level of initiative will put you at the front of your boss’ thoughts when golden career opportunities arise.
- Ask for what your want
Title changes, benefits, salary increases, perks! If you don’t ask, you will not get. It’s really that simple. Everything you want is on the other side of fear. Oh! Make sure you deserve what you’re asking for. Refer back to #2 if you need a reminder.
- Provide solutions
Strive to be the woman with both beauty and brains. Raise your hand in meetings, challenge things you are taught, present a plan/presentation which showcases more efficient ways of doing things. This means going the extra mile outside of your comfortable 9-5 setting. Take yourself out to dinner and brainstorm some ideas.
- Network you butt off
Do this both in and out of the office. Sign up for LinkedIn and study how it works. If you don’t know the who’s who in your industry, I suggest you get familiar.
“Career breakthroughs occur at the intersection of readiness, opportunity & hustle.”
– Kate White
Peace & Love,
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