There are many for career women out there, but we at Lumi wanted to give you some personal wisdom right here! These are some personal tips and attributes that we have found to be important in our own lives – and they aren’t the obvious tips that everyone always tells you, either!
Tip one: Be ever-curious. Curious Leaders are often successful, respected leaders. Curious people are interested in what they are doing, they seek out opportunities, and they push the boundaries of their knowledge in their given field. In fact, Forbes Online talks about curious CEOs or Managers as those leaders who bring excitement to a team or organisation, which leads to new ideas, new jobs or even new industries. Being ever-curious means seeking new projects beyond your Job Description, enhancing your reach in your organisations and beyond, and being the person that identifies opportunities for raises and promotions. Curious people rarely settle – and they rarely lose momentum. They are less likely to become bored or nonchalant about their work, but have an insatiable appetite to know more.
Tip Two: Listen! Listening is something that can be more difficult than it seems. But don’t we all love bosses that listen? By listening to their colleagues and employees, leaders can create a space where people can be honest as well as get advice and guidance for projects, new ideas, and new visions. Even when very busy, great Managers even set aside a specific time of week where they have an ‘open door’, when any of their employees can come and ask questions, chat or get something off their chest.
Similarly, by listening to their managers, and to the more senior people around them, employees can gather advice and knowledge, learn more about the nuances of their organisation, and ‘suss out’ how to deal with certain people or projects in their organisation. Trust us – this knowledge can prevent you from sending an email or saying something in a meeting that you may later totally regret!
There is so much that we can learn from others – whether we are on the top rung of an organisation or just starting out.
Tip Three: Be Courageous. Being courageous can take on many forms. It can mean defending justice, displaying confidence in the workplace, moving cities, or taking a step of faith.
In work, being courageous can mean having the confidence to negotiate a raise or promotion, or volunteer for a new project. It can mean taking risks – it could even mean starting your own business! In her book Daring and Disruptive, Lisa Messenger talks about having an ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ in what we do – seeking new and better ways of doing things, and not fearing failure. In Lean in, Sheryl Sandberg talks about ‘sitting at the table’, contributing and showing what you have to offer to the powers that be! This takes courage, but these steps could be the difference between closed doors and new opportunities.
And courage is a quality we need in more than just our work life. We need courageous mothers, daughters, friends, mentors – we need courageous selves to take on all that the world throws at us.
So don’t be afraid, ladies, to step up, step out and step to it!