by Sonia Brown (UK)

While many of us are working from home, this is a great time for new leaders to push through the crowded workspace and find opportunities to be ‘invited to’ the networks of influence, but more importantly, invited to sit at the ‘table.’

There is no shame in wanting to progress your career prospects, but you have to take intentional action and have a professional development plan that meets your needs.  So, if you are serious about your career development strategy, then you have to take proactive and practical action. Here are 3 simple tips to kick-start your plan: –

Learn to shine! 

No more hiding behind the ‘my work will speak for itself’ mantra.  Become that person who owns and is recognised as someone who possesses high potential, superior performance and exceptional communication skills; rather than someone who is happy for other team members to benefit from your work.

It’s important to use this time to sharpen your leadership skills and start to take notice of how you make people feel e.g. colleagues, management, clients etc. if you want to position yourself as a ‘thought’ leader, you will need a greater sense of self-awareness which supports how you fix and upgrade your ‘authentic brand.’

Remember, your organisation is looking for you to perform, but also known to the right members of the senior management team. There is a focus on diversity and inclusion, so this is the time for diverse talent to create opportunities to shine in front of the right people.  You have to be intentional and set yourself up for success.

Now that we are working differently, look at how you are showing up online and offline.  Is It representative of the person you want to be seen as professionally?  It’s great to reach out to people regularly and with confidence – you will be surprised what you learn!

Take Responsibly and Act Strategically

You don’t need to know it all.  It’s OK to ask for support, feedback and help as you re-evaluate your career advancement strategy!

Be clear about your career goals and expectations and ensure that your manager is aligned and supportive of your new found vision and expectations.  Therefore, it’s important that you are holding management accountable and interested in the advancement of your goal setting and career development.

Source: iCN Issue 35  (Business Coaching: Building your Organisation); pages 21-22

About Sonia Brown MBE

Sonia Brown MBE is an award-winning DE&I and business owner; marketing and branding specialist; speaker on the intersection of female business, politics and leadership issues.

She is the founder of the National Black Women’s Network; Let’s Talk Business; Inspirational Women’s Super-Summit; SistaTalk; EVOLVE Business Programme; Female and BAME Business Forum and the Connected Woman forum.

@soniatalks | www.nbwn.org