After interviewing a range of amazing and inspiring professional women in 2014, we’ve heard some great career advice.
Here are 10 of the best tips for you to apply to 2015 – your best coming year yet!
1. Don’t Apologise in the Board Room
Founder and CEO of Launch Group Fleur Brown (aka my boss) recounted what her boss told her about being confident in the board room when she was younger: “He told me that I started most of my comments around the executive table by apologising for having a point of view – for example saying “just quickly” or “sorry to jump in” which basically communicated that I didn’t feel very important and so people behaved accordingly. I wouldn’t have put you there if I didn’t think you were capable he said – you need to own the power. I didn’t fully understand what he meant then, but over time I’ve tried to watch how I conduct myself in a powerful or intimidating setting.”
2. Learn and Observe Everything
Entrepreneur and co-founder of Peepable, Nari Jennings, told us: “Learn as much as you can from every experience. Observe the people whom you most admire and aspire to be like in your workplace or industry. Don’t be afraid to talk to them, to ask their advice, to learn from their experiences.”
3. Follow Your Heart
Nari also said: “Above all, follow your passion and never compromise on your values. As Steve Jobs so famously said: “If you do what it is you love doing, you’ll have never worked a day in your life.” Know your values – what you stand for and what is acceptable to you – and stick by it. If you are true to your values, decisions are easy.”
4. Don’t Fear Mistakes, Just Fix Them
Director of ABC Innovation Angela Clark said, “Don’t be afraid of making mistakes but make it your mission to fix every mistake you make as quickly as you can. Mistakes aren’t usually the problem, failing to fix mistakes is. A lack of ego is required when you find out a decision you’ve made is wrong. But good things happen, when you learn from your mistakes. And of course – don’t make the same mistake twice.”
5. Work Hard
Editor-in-chief of the Renegade Collective Lisa Messenger said to work incredibly hard. “Work your butt off!! Quite seriously. There is no quick pill. Also work on yourself continuously to get a really strong sense of who you are and an unwavering self belief. Don’t be afraid to take risks. And fail fast,” she said.
6. Team Work is Key
Business growth expert Jana Matthews said: “One of my mentors was a woman who had co-founded a company, was on several boards of directors, and was a highly respected professional… When I told her that I wanted to be like her, and “do it all” she responded, “My dear, you CAN do it all, if you don’t think that YOU have to do it all”. Her advice was to learn to choose good people, learn to work in a team, and learn to delegate.”
7. Remember Your Manners
Manners can really go and long way and leave a lasting impression – it all comes back to being professional and mature. “Never forget to say Please and Thank You,” was something that came highly advised by Jana.
8. Brace For Change
Jana also recommended to be ready for change, I think this is so you can embrace any new opportunities that crop up right in front of you. “Always be prepared for something amazing to happen,” she said.
This was also emphasised by Curatorial Director for TEDxSydney Edwina Throsby who said: “Don’t be afraid of change: new is almost always interesting.”
9. Solve Something That Needs Fixing
For budding entrepreneurs, CEO and co-founder of Canva Melanie Perkins advised, “Solve a problem that you feel passionately about and really believe should be solved. It’s taken over seven years from the initial idea to get Canva to where it is today. It’s a long journey, so to make sure that you are solving a problem worth solving.”
10. Throw Yourself Into It
Melanie also said (and this is something I strongly agree with and have found with blogging): “Don’t be afraid to jump in and get started. You can’t possibly know everything you need to know about starting and running a company before you start. If you are determined to solve a problem and passionate to learn everything as you go, that is enough. Take the first steps and the rest will, eventually, follow.”
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received this year? Please share in the comments below!