According to the Harvard Business Review, “women have more than enough mentors but are only half as likely as their male peers to have a sponsor“. Sponsorship, as it pertains to career advancement, refers to women who are otherwise qualified to lead, yet lack the powerful backing needed to move forward to the next level of their management careers. Global Advisers is keen on helping women move forward in investment and wealth management, and provides the following tips to help women in their quest for career advancement within our firm. At the very least, you should be:
Build a strong professional network. It’s essential to beginning and advancing your career. Take networking seriously, it all of its forms. Networking doesn’t always have to be formal. In fact, many successful managers find some of the best networking opportunities in a casual setting. Catching up over coffee, a drink with a friend, or an hour on the golf course or gym can often lead to future opportunities. Be sure to share your story and follow up to keep the relationship alive. And, don’t expect others to follow up with you. Be that one person who proactively goes out and gets what they want.
Discovering your Unique Brand and Selling Point(s)
What is your story? What do you bring to the table? Everyone has strengths. What is yours? Be prepared to share it. By “prepared” we mean practice it – in front of a mirror, on a video recording, on camera. How to you look and sound? There are many people out there searching for someone with your skills, but, if you cannot convey what those skills are in a professional manner, and you don’t present well in person or over the phone, your chances for success with drop. Identify your unique brand, tell a compelling story, and your network will grow, as will your business and reputation.
Easy said than done, perhaps, yet vital to your success is to exude a level of confidence sufficient to attract the right kind of attention, both from your employer and your clients. Great skills and a strong performance will only take you so far. You will need confidence to build relationships, volunteer for new assignments, and accept and respond to developmental feedback. Don’t be afraid to tactfully speak up at meetings, express your opinion, and take on difficult tasks. Doing so will help you gain the type of recognizance needed for sponsorship and success.