Timeless Career Advice for Women at Any Stage of 2021 Leaders – Part I
In each of the hundreds of interviews I have conducted with talented women leaders on energy, climate, sustainability and corporate responsibility issues on Electric Ladies Podcast, I seek career advice from women at mid-career who want to make a difference. These women are business leaders, nonprofits and governments, entrepreneurs, journalists, scientists and academics.
This is advice for ambitious mid-career women; that is, women who want to earn money, advance in their career, and make a positive contribution to society.
There were so many beautiful advice nuggets this year, and it was so difficult to choose which ones to keep, that I decided to split them into two parts to give you as much of these timeless advice nuggets as possible.
Here is the first part of the collection of timeless career advice these amazing women leaders have given on my Pin up:
1. You may have passed your dream job: âFirst of all, recognizing that you are in an ever-changing space of influence and dreams that you, this position you applied for three years ago, take the time now to considerâ¦ (that) you might already having come out of this dream and already being able to take on greater responsibilities or greater roles. And the second thing is to learn to say “no”. Saying “no” is saying “yes” to things already on your plate. ” Twila Moon, Ph.D., climatologist and glacier specialist, University of Colorado at Boulder, National Snow and Ice Data Center (photo above)
2. Defend for yourself: “You are your best lawyer and you can’t wait to be recognized. You can’t wait because you know you’ve shown that you can do all of these things. If you want something you have to really go for it and not be shy. ” Emily tipaldo, CEO, US Plastics Pact
3. Build a base of skills and make sure you alternate between different roles. Also find sponsors, not just mentors, but people who will advocate for your interests. From Bonnie gwin, vice president of executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles and co-director of Global CEO & Board Practice (see related article on more women hired as CEOs in 2021 here.)
4. “Understand what is your risk footprint, and the most important things about who you are. This, in turn, leads to the way forward that you will be tracing through often very, very uncertain times, and will help you make the choices you need to make. That this risk fingerprint is like your north star and your anchor. Michele Wucker, author, “You are what you risk: the new art and the new science of navigation in an uncertain world”.
5. Take care of your finances: “Make surethat your own financial base is in good placeâ¦ (and) take advantage of the opportunities presented to youâ¦ be openâ¦Do not let wwhat you can do now, stop â(by other ways of using what you know and can do). Shelly porges, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Beyond the Billion (dedicated to activating funding for women entrepreneurs)
6. “Pay attention to what you are doing right. So if you’re not happy with what you’re doing, you really have to take a risk and be prepared to step out of your current role and try something new and test yourself. And you can do it in your own position, you can dabble in another realm … and then see if that’s a place you want to go. Anne Kelly, Vice President of Government Relations, Ceres
seven. Find a boss who understands and supports your talent: “Especially mid-career and above what becomes most important is … that the person you report to … understands what you bring to the organization and what your strengths are and allows you to be authentic with yourself- evenâ¦ and is also able to give you feedback and allow you to grow. Lara ramdin, Ph.D, Chief Innovation Officer, Dole Sunshine Company
8. Have more confidence in what you can offer: âWomen need to be more confident in what they can offer, take these risks and opt for these jobs, even though they may not have 100% of the necessary criteria because what happens most of the time, women deliver too much, andâ¦ working with women, working with men, continuing to develop our own capacities. Sandrine Dixson, Co-chair of the Club of Rome, high level leaders (photo above).
A good piece of advice summarizing this Part 1 that we must all keep in mind, and on which the struggle of the last two years in particular has shone the spotlight, is what the brilliant Gillian Tett articulated in our interview at COP26 in Glasgow:
âBe tenacious. Don’t give up. Acknowledge the wisdom of what Sheryl Sandberg once told me, namely that life is not a career ladder. It’s a jungle gym. You can go up, around, to the side, around your back, and you have to think more creatively and flexibly. Gillian tett, Ph.D., editor and chairman of the editorial board of the Financial Times, and former US editor
Click on here to read Part II of Timeless Career Tips for Women at Any Stage.
Listen to the full interviews of all these women – and many more – on Electric Ladies Podcast here, or wherever you want to listen to podcasts.