Assert yourself, work hard, stay focused and keep learning – I offer this advice to any young woman looking to launch a successful career. When I began my career, I knew I wanted be in a leadership role. That choice required me to devote time and make a serious commitment to that aspect of my life by making tough choices about what was important to me, sharing these priorities with those around me, and sticking with clearly defined goals to realize my vision.

If you aspire to be in a leadership role, make it clear to your supervisor and colleagues that you are willing to put in the time and hard work to earn that role. Women, especially, should define and be proactive about their career and not allow others to make unwarranted assumptions about them. Communicate and realize your career goals effectively so you can establish your own track towards success.

Having a mentor is very important, but sometimes you have to find them – they do not always find you! Don’t assume others will take a special interest in you or propel you upward. Be assertive and clear about your mission; however don’t forget to ask for guidance when necessary. Utilize your resources wisely and always remember to acknowledge those who contribute to your success and take responsibility for your mistakes. Be known as a person of integrity and accountability.

Differentiate yourself by being the “go-to” person in your organization. Clearly set yourself as someone always available, accessible, and inspired for the betterment of the organization. Be known for consistently delivering high quality work with creative approaches. Demonstrate your drive by arriving early and staying late.

Develop great ideas and turn them into measurable results. Be a strong communicator, collaborator and leader. Think about your style of communication and the message that you convey to those around you about who you are as a person, a colleague and a manager. Continue to learn about subjects that are may be unfamiliar.

Most importantly, be honest with yourself and your vision as well as what you’re willing to sacrifice to achieve it. Succeeding at your career takes time, the support of others, personal dedication and a lot of effort. Manage your career choices as you do your work, and you will begin to realize similar results for yourself as you deliver for others.