Leaders in Heels recently asked five successful female leaders to give their top tips to women who are at the beginning of their careers.
Know your strengths.
Always self-evaluate. Knowing your strengths will help you to better communicate them to prospective and current employers when job hunting or asking for a promotion or pay rise. It also helps you find areas of opportunity and to work on them.
Many people don’t have the level of self-awareness they need to take advantage of their personal strengths or to strengthen their weak points. Find ways to identify your talents and strong points by asking colleagues for feedback or find a mentor within your organisation who can provide you with an objective viewpoint about where you shine and where you need to improve.
Once you have pinpointed your strengths, practice speaking about them when you are pursuing a new job or asking for promotions.
Company: Pulse Marketing
Position: Managing Director
Industry: Marketing and Advertising
Be honest with yourself.
Be passionate – understand your true skills and values and never be afraid of learning.
Mentors are an invaluable asset to have, being humble in learning will provide the foundation for your success. Always remember those on the way up and never ever take someone for granted.
Best advice of all? Be honest with yourself!
Company: Dee by design Pty Ltd
Position: Managing Director/Owner
If you are at university, study something that you enjoy or at least include those subjects as part of your degree. It’s amazing the types of careers that you can have which overlap with things that interest you. Careers are long and opportunities creep when least expected. If you love science, but want to work in business then study science subjects because science graduates have excellent critical thinking skills.
Be curious. Think about what you are doing in your role and why. Even if the company or role is not your dream role, you should perform to the best of your abilities and spend the time to understand how your job fits into the whole organisation.
Focus on solutions to problems rather than the problem itself. See every problem from the perspective of how you can fix it rather than complaining about it or accepting it. You can’t always fix issues in organisations, but you should definitely give it a good go.
Be happy and bring a positive attitude to the workplace. People want to work with positive, engaged people. This is one of the most important attributes you can have.
Ms Kylie Ahern
Company: Cosmos Magazine/ Cosmos Media
Position: CEO/ Publisher
Industry: Publishing/ Media
Turn challenges into opportunities.
Every successful business owner faces challenges. But it is about how you respond to the challenges and by turning them into opportunities. These challenges make you the person you are no matter what comes your way.
Always seek ways to increase your skills and knowledge. You should study, read and listen. I am passionate about education. It’s about enhancing lives!
And don’t forget about ‘giving back to community’. Be kind and generous, there’s no point in reaching the top if you have no one to share it with.
I started The Australasian College Broadway with $1600 and one staff member. Today we have a hundred people in our team. I didn’t do it all by myself, you need support and assistance. By surrounding yourself with a strong team you will reap the long-term rewards.
Maureen Houssein-Mustafa OAM
Company: MHM Australasia Pty Ltd, the parent company of The Australasian College Broadway
Position: Founder and Co-Chair
Trust your instincts and go with it. If you are doing well, you can be confident you have good judgement.
Listen to advice from people you trust and respect. Even if you don’t take that advice you’ll have benefited from their alternative point of view.
Take every opportunity to challenge negative assumptions, those of others and your own.
Be bold but balanced. Too many women either self-censor or push our views too hard because we are afraid we won’t be listened to. If you own your knowledge and the power of your position people will follow you.
Be decisive, it’s much easier to turn around a poor decision than to combat inertia.
Visit actors in rehearsal rooms, technicians in darkened theatres, meet your colleagues in their offices. They all need to know that you care about them and their work.
Watch lots of theatre. Your job might be balancing the books and getting bums on seats, but the art is the reason those things matter.
Company: Belvoir St Theatre
Position: General Manager and co-CEO
Is there anything you would like to add to this list? Share your advice by commenting below. Don’t forget to include similar details about yourself: name, company, position, industry.