As a female executive at a high-profile, global corporation, I believe that women have the responsibility to help each other advance. Although women represent a majority of the work force, and the number of women holding executive positions is growing, we still face many challenges.
As I advanced in my career, there were a few key principles that helped me stay focused and provided balance to my life. They still hold true and will set you on the right track for success.
Put first things first, whatever that may be for you—family, career or community. The corporate world will consume 24 hours of your day if you allow it. Delegation is key, both at home and at work.
This is essential. Build your brand. Companies are looking for the best and the brightest. Although women are more educated, experienced and accomplished than ever before, we still need to go the extra mile for recognition. We need to be experts in our field, know the latest trends and key competitors, or take on that extra project that increases our visibility.
GET TO KNOW THE RIGHT PEOPLE
Surround yourself with the people in your company who share your values, have passion and will constantly challenge you. This will keep you at the top of your game.
Join an industry organization or a local nonprofit organization that will put you in touch with leaders in your field or community. Run for a board position or join a women’s organization. Networking is especially helpful in building a strong support system and getting invaluable advice about both career and family.
I’ve been fortunate in my life, and I believe it’s my responsibility to give my time, talents and resources to those who are not as fortunate. Through my community outreach, I have served on several nonprofit boards and, more recently, on the advisory board at Penn State’s Smeal School of Business, my alma mater.
MANAGE AND ADAPT TO CHANGE
The opportunities are what we make them. You must be able to manage and adapt to change. Remember that your career is a journey that won’t always play out exactly as planned. Whatever your career choice, make sure it’s something that you really enjoy and are passionate about. It’s your career and your life, and you’ll make of it what you want it to be.