Career advancement is not an automatic reward for competence. If you want to rise to a leadership position, you must make your achievements and expertise known. Leadership coach Susan Ritchie offers advice on building a supportive professional network and elevating your profile in your industry through social media, writing and speaking. She recommends cultivating connections in your field and being ready to seize opportunities. Much of her guidance applies to men as well as to women, since Ritchie emphasizes planning, authenticity, effective communication and consistency in your career-building practices.
Competence or expertise doesn’t automatically generate recognition and advancement.
Despite significant strides in the last decades, women remain underrepresented at the highest corporate levels. If you have career ambitions, the earlier you acquire the skills and strategies you need to raise your profile, the more likely you are to realize your goals. Identify the results you want so you can make the strategic choices that help you achieve them. Ask: What do I want my career to look like in two years, and what do I need to do to get there? Work out what skills, contacts and experience you need now, in six months and in a year. Develop a plan to get where you want to be. The sooner you begin, the better.
Keeping a professional journal can help you analyze your current status and determine your next steps. Make journaling part of your weekly routine. Use your journal to log your achievements, review your project performance, flag areas for growth, note new contacts and track important conversations. Consider recruiting an accountability buddy to keep you both on track.
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Leadership coach, blogger and speaker Susan Ritchie also wrote Strategies for Being Brilliant: 21 Ways to Be Happy, Confident and Successful.