WRITING YOUR OWN SUCCESS STORY IN 2013

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WIJUK – Tip Sheet re 28 February 2013

 WIJ members are facing many challenges, not least the contraction of your industry, budget restraints and the lack of opportunities.  We cannot change this reality; what we can do is change our attitude towards what’s happening and change our thinking/behaviour in how we deal with these challenges.  A revelation to most of the WIJ members who attended the presentation was how powerful the impact of attitude is versus our skill and knowledge.  Bearing this in mind, we explored how to move your career to another level using tools to remove self-imposed barriers and how to overcome barriers imposed by others. Thinking and behaviours were challenged and suggestions made as to how you can do some things differently to ensure you achieve different and more positive results.

What follows are some tips to enable you to be even more persuasive and influential in your journey to write your own success journey for 2013.

VISION

We all need a VISION: Create your vision, get inside it, picture what it looks like, when you want to achieve it and work back from the future – NOT FORWARD FROM THE PAST (you take your baggage with you).

PERSONAL BRANDING:

Personal branding: First impressions are built in 30 seconds: 55% is how we look – make sure you look right; 38% is our tone of voice in delivering a message (it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it – so practise how you want to be heard) and 7% is the words we use.

Internal Branding: Attitude – getting your head straight re your self-confidence;  self-esteem; self-awareness; interpersonal skills; leadership presence is key – and be aware of the parrot on your shoulder, whispering negative thoughts in your ear, who leads you to SELF DESTRUCT.

TECHNICAL EXPERTISE: Take control and make or ask for investment in whatever courses and conferences are necessary for your own continual professional development.

GOALS

The reason why people don’t set goals is because it makes them accountable to themselves and anyone else they share their goals with. Goal setting isn’t always about money, it’s about achievement, fulfilment, status and how you are perceived.

Remember People who don’t set goals/have a clear focus are used by people who do!

Check your goals against your Vision, do they support each other?

LEADERSHIP PRESENCE

You need a well formed view of your specialism; see the challenges before they become major issues; understand the details and don’t get bogged down in them; learn to ask good questions.

Senior Mentor:  Find yourself a senior mentor to help you map your career, open doors and challenge your CV.

Broadcast your Achievements/be your own PR –Volunteer for projects that will give you profile then ensure you let people know what you have done.  Where do you need to position yourself?  The chaps do it, why shouldn’t you.

PROFILE

How do you show up in the public domain: Keep your LinkedIn Profile updated? Use LinkedIn to research others who can help you; Blog, Tweet;  use Facebook to make people aware of who you are. Google yourself, what is the web saying about you?

Secure Your Power Base: strength comes from your team/network; motivate/inspire the people around you and they will watch your back.

NETWORK– an essential:

Business Network: It doesn’t matter how busy you are, you must keep your network current, find a way to keep in touch, like LinkedIn 

Personal Network:  is a key priority if you have a family: husband, partner, parents, friends, nanny/carer, cleaner, gardener.  Don’t feel guilty! A full time career is a choice you have made.  Don’t let anyone rain on your parade, not least you.

If you take maternity leave you need to keep in touch.  Attend the occasional meeting so you keep abreast of what is going on in your world.  If you are away for 6 months’ time moves on and, the business changes and you need to stay ahead of the game.

WORK-LIFE BALANCE/Fit

Look at the meetings that are in your diary; do you need to attend them all?  Knock out certain amount of time every day for thinking/catching up time.

Be realistic you cannot be everything to everyone.  You won’t get to the gym as often as you want, don’t expect to be a supermum and sex goddess. There will be sacrifices, if you have children you won’t see them as often as you want to; you won’t see your friends as much as you would like.  Different for freelancers; you have more control over your time.

Take the weekends to recover and spend time with your family and use the personal network to do the jobs you don’t need to do. 

CAREER ENHANCEMENT

How do you move up the career ladder/improve your freelance work? Be visible; network, talk to everyone that is appropriate, your friends who are in the business; your partners colleagues, don’t hide your light under a bushel; if ultimately you want an executive director role offer yourself as a school governor, especially if  other governors are business people, become a trustee for a charity. All these roles look good on your CV and gives you experience of corporate governance.

Hone your interview skills. Find out about the company, who you know there: do your due diligence, understand what you are letting yourself in for with regard to their rep

TAKE RISKS
No-one ever said changing attitudes and behaviour is easy.  If you want to write your own success story it will mean taking some risks and not always getting everything right first time.  If your vision is important to you and you are passionate about achieving it, keep on going and don’t let anyone take your power away.

Moving forward and achieving outcomes is always more powerful and very often more timely when you have someone who supports you, has no agenda and holds you accountable.   Make sure you choose the right person.

Good luck.

Recommended Books:

How to Win Friends and Influence People and How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, both by Dale Carnegie

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