What I’d wish I’d known 20 years earlier – tips to thrive in business
This blog covers top tips and tricks that I wish I’d have known 20 years earlier, in the hope that it might help some people to rise and thrive in business. Having worked my way up to C-level in world leading brands, it has certainly been a rollercoaster ride. There have been many highs, but also many lows, and I share the learnings that I believe will fast-track career and personal success.
Get in front of stakeholders
I used to think that credibility was the key to getting recognised and promoted at work, until I discovered the PIE model. I would work 24/7 chained to my desk and not understand why I got passed over for some promotions. Surprisingly, Performance (how well you do your prescribed work), accounts for just 10% of your career success. Image, what other people think about you, accounts for 30% and Exposure 60%. So, my advice is to make sure the right stakeholders know about you and what you do.
You are amazing just as you are. Your quirks and imperfections are what makes you ‘you’ and interesting. I used to suppress being funny, because I thought it would hold me back from rising in seniority, and I’d adapt my personality to what I thought was expected. It is both exhausting and frustrating doing this. Let the real you shine and if you’re not appreciated, perhaps it’s time for a new place.
Believe in yourself
Many of us (6 out of 10 women) experience imposter syndrome and this self-doubt can eat away at our confidence. Being aware of these moments, managing the chimp and telling yourself positive affirmation messages is tough but critical. I also find power poses work well, as well as thinking about role models who ooze confidence and exemplifying their behaviours.
Women championing each other
What really kills me is when I see other women being nasty or not sticking up for each other. There are enough difficulties outside work, and enough inequality issues inside work, that we are only harming ourselves further by not supporting each other. Please can we give each other a break and have more compassion and kindness. Simple things like reinforcing another women’s opinion in a meeting, mentoring, compliments, celebrating successes and having each other’s back.
It’s a tough game, the world of business, with numerous setbacks to endure. We need to be able to pick ourselves up when we face adversity, and come back stronger, channelling the frustrations for your benefit.
Release your stress bucket
We all have a stress bucket that is continually being filled up and we need to release it. If we don’t, the overflow leads to bad things such as anxiety or other disorders. Learning how you release your stress and finding the time to do it is important. It will vary individually, but for myself, I enjoy spa breaks, relaxation meditations, socialising, playing the drums and walking outdoors. I also try to build in some moments of calm me-time during the day to manage it.
It takes a lot of guts to speak up when something is not right, whether you experience this yourself or see others going through something bad. I would urge you to seek the courage to do this, otherwise the bullies keep bullying. Also, being fearless about going for what you want in life has its risks, but well worth it in the end. I think it takes courage to be able to show people your vulnerabilities, but I believe this builds trust and relationships.
Give less of a sh**
Protect your energy for your family, friends and people who treat you with respect. Ironically, we seem to use all of our energy reserves at work and come home depleted and snappy. We care too much about and try to convert people who don’t like us. We waste our time worrying about what ifs, with ‘drainers’, instead of focusing on our strengths, positivity and the present. Save your energy for the good people, and don’t sweat the small stuff or what’s out of your control.