Find a sponsor
As the years go on, it seems as though there are less young people utilizing the invaluable resource of a mentor and even less so finding a sponsor. Most industries are changing rapidly, there is tons of solid advice and tips that transcend time and technology, and what better resource to get it from than someone in your professional network?
Whether its a manager in your company, a professor from college, or a connection from LinkedIn, this is a person who knows your long-term goals, and wants to help you achieve them. Whether by doing some extra work for them or openly and appropriately showing your admiration, this person could be the one who sticks their neck out for you and lands you a coveted position.
Connect with your coworkers
Tons of research has shown that “likability” is absolutely essential to moving up in any industry and that women who are perceived as competent and assertive are seen as lacking in likability. So when the opportunity organically presents itself, take advantage to get to know your peers on an informal, fun level.
Connecting on topics unrelated to business will help you see your coworkers and your coworkers see you as people instead of colleagues.
Let’s face it: we enter the finance and accounting industry because we’re good at math, and we prefer working with numbers than with people. Now, this is not to say accountants aren’t people persons, that would be a gross generalization, but knowing how to articulate what you need from others in order to do your job effectively is invaluable. Having the power, prowess, and confidence to have the difficult conversations that can lead you to rise in the ranks will only give you more merit.
If you’re still in school, taking a class that focuses on negotiation, or a marketing class that focuses on branding would be critical to your trove of skills. It’s never too early to think about the importance of personal branding and how it can catapult you into high level positions.
Take a good look
When you first enter the workforce, don’t let your lack of experience cloud your vision. Take a realistic assessment of your office and how movement within in the company operates. Find out what will it take to land that corner office or executive title and if it’s going to be an attainable goal. If you feel it might be a little behind the times in terms of promoting skilled and accomplished women, don’t worry, there are plenty of firms that are in demand for talented and professional females.