What would be your best piece of career advice for a group of teens preparing to enter tomorrow’s workforce? Margot’s – aka The Career Diplomat – latest blog reflects upon a recent conversation with a group determined to step up and stand out in what they do and the contribution they wish to make.
‘There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living’
They say that experience is your best teacher and with age, comes wisdom. Whilst I am certainly not confessing to being full of wisdom (or old!), it was with great delight that I was recently asked to take part in a breakfast mentoring session for a group of teen girls by sharing some of my own career journey.
Watching and listening to these girls share their stories, their hopes and ambitions, struggles and concerns for the future was both insightful and reassuring.
Insightful, because in many ways it was interesting to reflect on how my own career had unfolded which is so very different to what I thought I would originally do (and a hundred times better than I could have ever imagined); and reassuring least of all that our future is in very safe hands when we have young women who are prepared to be so open, curious and considered about what they want to achieve and contribute to the world around them. In short they were expressing a deep desire to step up and stand out by becoming the best possible versions of themselves.
As each of them shared their story about what they thought they would do, it was interesting to note what they felt they needed to overcome in order to achieve their ambitions:
For many of us these challenges have not been limited to just our teen years. Navigating today’s workforce and committing to ‘stepping up’ in our careers requires us to constantly make brave and courageous decisions in order to grow, remain relevant and achieve the fulfilment we all crave. It also requires us to find our voice and confidence in the way we use it.
Creating long-term career success and fulfilment requires resilience. Rarely is it a straight linear path. There are hard lessons learned and there are ‘lucky breaks’ along the way. In a world that is characterised by constant change and uncertainty, it will be our ability to feel comfortable and move with the changing times that is a critical skill for both personal and professional success.
As those of us who had come to share our stories spoke, it was interesting to note some of the similarities between us despite our different career paths:
Our careers today require us to be nimble, responsive and adaptable. Anticipating opportunity and navigating change are all essential skills for developing the resilience required to build purpose, diversity and success in our careers. Without it we not only risk our own career but also the performance and abilities or our teams by failing to see the opportunities that lie in front of us.
So what were our key pieces of advice for encouraging these young girls to step up and stand out in their careers?
I would love to hear what other advice you believe is critical for building the confidence to step up and stand out in your career.
Margot – The Career Diplomat
The roots of courageous leadership are firmly planted in self awareness, ownership and accountability.
Work on strengthening two different aspects of resilience.
When at a career crossroads, give yourself room to imagine what’s possible without any guilt.
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