Start by answering these three questions:
- What are the Top 3 things from last year that you are most proud of professionally?
- WHY are you proud of those accomplishments?
- What did you do specifically that made them memorable?
Armed with that knowledge, now let’s look into 2017 and how you can become your own most valuable asset – an Advocate.
As women, we are often quite good at advocating for other people, but rarely for ourselves. Make this the year that changes. Claim 2017 as the year that you are no longer willing to settle… for less than you want, or less than you are worth..
This is the year that you are going to own your worth, your talents, your skillsets and your power.
The Top 3 ways to become your own advocate:
Tip #1 – Capture
Women seldom take the time to capture all of the amazing contributions that we make in our professional lives. Everything from advancing projects forward to offering a unique perspective on a challenging problem. The Corporate world is very fast paced – it’s just the nature of the business landscape, which is why we rarely take the time to celebrate, acknowledge or even write down those seemingly small things that we do all of the time that could help us advance down the road.
To become a true advocate for yourself, it’s imperative that you capture all of these accomplishments so when it’s time to have a conversation about joining a new project or position yourself for that promotion, you have a Success Sheet ready. In the meantime, request quarterly “Success Update” meetings with your supervisor where you can showcase what you have achieved and highlight how those contributions positively impacted the bottom line. Don’t ever let them doubt how talented you are because they simply aren’t aware.
Tip #2 – Trust
Remember at the beginning of this article when I asked you to recall 3 things from 2016 that you were most proud of professionally? Well guess what? You trusted yourself to make them happen. You trusted your voice, your talents, your conviction and your authenticity. As women, we are so quick to allow external influences to dictate what we are capable of. No more. Make 2017 the year that you trust your own power and run with it…at every turn!
Tip #3 – Know Your Business
One of the top things we see in organizations that we work with is that women are not seen as business savvy. They are viewed as SME’s in their respective roles, but may not have the business acumen required to advance. Learning everything you can about your company, industry, products and services will make you more marketable. In addition, develop and hone your strategic planning skills so your contributions can have an even greater impact.
The more questions you ask and the more knowledge you soak in about the business side of your company, the more valuable of an asset you become.
Here are some suggestions:
- Read your industry trade magazines and then have a conversation with your supervisor about what you read. Ask questions. Seek to understand on a deeper level.
- You know those quarterly or annual reports that your company releases? Read past reports. Ask how they are put together. Find out how your contribution impacts the overall success of the report.
- Choose a category that you want to become more proficient in. Ask your supervisor to add an additional 15 minutes to your one on one meeting once per month and have a list of questions for them such as:
- What is the direct connection between what you do and the overall company’s success?
- What are the growth goals for your company?
- How are these goals defined? What goes into that determination? How are they measured?
No one can advocate for you as strongly as you can for yourself. It simply takes practice and beginning to try new ways of thinking and/or expand on an area that is currently working.
New Year – New Advocate.
Anything I missed that has been a real game-changer in your experience? Click here to leave a comment at the bottom of the post, so other women leaders can learn from your expertise.