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20 Key Career Lessons for Every Stage in Life

Childhood Lessons

1. Learning is everything.

2. Women can achieve anything they want (I was inspired by Thatcher’s achievement to be the first Prime Minister – I hasten to add I’m not political!).

3. Remember your childhood dreams.

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Early Career Lessons

1. Don’t ever give up.

2. Be brave, push yourself out of your comfort zone.

3. Ask for help from people you trust.

4. Feedback is a gift; listen to it, thank the person giving it and act on it.

5. Understand how business works and the numbers. Commercial nous is important. Read more

Scott Says: February Update from the WICT UK President

As I write to you this month I’m putting together the final touches to my introduction to the WICT UK conference, which as you know is taking place on International Women’s Day, 8 March. The IWD theme of Gender Parity is a great topic as it’s now going to take a huge 117 years until we reach this! I know that I’m not prepared to wait that long – are you? If you haven’t signed up please do so now in order that you take part.

We have secured an amazing line up of speakers who include Priti Patel the Employment Minister, to Simon Fanshawe, writer and broadcaster. We will also be welcoming the WICT US President, Maria Brennan who is coming over for our event.

Sponsored by Virgin Media and compèred by Guto Harri, MD of External Communications at Liberty Global, the day will be entertaining, educational and thought provoking. This is also another great opportunity to network with your colleagues across our industry. We are also supporting the HeforShe campaign and would encourage all WICT members to bring a guest for free; all your male colleagues are very welcome! Just register your guest on the registration link so we can cater for them.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Helen

5 Ways To Kick Start Your Development Plan Without Asking Your Manager

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1. When ‘No’ might be better as ‘Yes’

If someone offers you an opportunity, don’t dismiss it out of hand. I had a coffee the other day with a colleague I used to work with but a long time ago. He’s looking for a new role in the same industry as me and when I asked how I could help, connect him with any of my contacts, he replied with a flat ‘no, I don’t think so, no thanks.’

But he could have asked me out of all my contacts who did I think would be good to connect with? Just one or two people and he’d have saved himself some time, drunk some good coffee or even just met a new and interesting person. He might even have landed a new job.

2. Treat every day at work like it’s your first day in the job

On day one of the job you’re probably a little scared, you’re keen to impress, you’re excited and you’re ready to learn. You ask lots of questions because you don’t know the answers and you need to learn fast. And you even question a bit more deeply to understand why something is done in a certain way, and you may share other ways you’ve done it or could do it. Your ‘day one stance’ is very contagious and the added energy of the newbie, can lift you through the dull tasks later on and gets you thinking about other areas where you can make a difference and learn.

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5 Small Changes That Can Make a Big Impact on You and Your Life

1. Connect and Eject

Being able to connect and eject starts with building a diverse network.  The more quality people you have in your virtual Rolodex the better!  This way when an opportunity presents itself you can quickly connect two people and then eject from the conversation and allow them to take it from there.  I believe every link could lead to collaboration, a new idea or invention, or problem solved, and at the very least a brilliant conversation between two awesome people.   I also believe if you are transparent and open with your network, it will come back to you in spades.  Remove your expectations and stand back to see what great things can come from being the link.

2. Mindset Matters

There is no doubt that the mindset you take on each day matters.  It matters greatly. It can change your day, ruin your day, and even turn your day around.  I believe a growth mindset, as described so brilliantly by Carol Dweck, is the choice mindset that will lead to success, opportunities and positive outcomes.  Believe it or not, choosing the growth mindset will also increase your energy throughout the day.

3. Launch and Adjust

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After many years of trying to be a perfectionist, I learned to let go and launch and adjust.  And I have learned that this could also be the best way to get as near to perfection as possible.  Not only can you learn and laugh at any mistakes you make, once something has launched to the public, you can quickly learn what cultural adaptations need to be made, what needs more clarity, and what might not be working at all and why.  So go ahead, put it out there and see what happens.  Sitting on something for years until it is perfect may be too late.

4. See Something Say Something

If you walk up the subway stairs in New York City you will see this slogan written all over the city.  In 2012 I saw Thomas Friedman start his speech with the very same words.  It resonates and reminds me to stay awake, and aware, and to be vocal. We all have a voice and we should use it. When we see something great, people should know.  When we see something that isn’t quite kosher, we should state our view on the matter, and if we see something down right wrong, we need to let the world know. Be seen. Be heard. Be credible.

5. Mentor and Model

The more you read the more you will see a trend in the significance of mentors in the world of work and progressing in one’s career.  You will also read how critical it is for leaders to model the behaviours that are wanted within a culture.  And what happens to an organisation when there is disconnect or no modelling at all.  Seems simple enough, right? Alas, mentoring and modelling is not yet common practice across all companies. There is no reason we shouldn’t all have a mentor, be a mentor, be a role model, and approach the workplace with a spirit of generosity and abundance to lift as we climb. There is really no excuse not to.

By Judy Goldberg
WonderShift Ltd
@Wondershift

Hey Ladies, Stop Undermining Yourself with Words

‘If everything is important, nothing is.’ These are wise words I recently read by author, speaker and consultant, Patrick Lencioni. If this is thinking is correct, how do you know when the person who often says they’re ‘busy’ during your morning chat in the elevator, are truly busy?

In my case, if everything is to be described as ‘amazing’ is anything ever amazing? As I read Lencioni’s words, I felt something reach deep into my consciousness and tug hard at the nerves. It’s a feeling I get every time I say ‘amazing’ and all the other words I overuse.

This got me thinking about other words (or ‘softeners’ as I like to think of them) women often say in order to make a point come across as being less bossy, abrupt or abrasive for the sake of seeming ‘nice’.

We often say ‘I just wanted to let you know…’ rather than ‘Here’s want I think is important to share with you’ and ‘Actually, can I just say…’ instead of ‘I have an idea I’d like to put forward for discussion’. Why do we seek permission for having a valid contribution to make?

Read more

Scott Says: January Update from the WICT UK President

Happy new year to you all! I hope that you had a rest over the holiday season and took time out to focus on friends and family.  My new year has started with a flurry of activity as we are busy planning our next event which will take place on International Women’s day on Tuesday 8 March 2016 at Altitude 360. This will be our biggest event to date and we are adopting the International Women’s day theme of Gender Parity. The World Economic Forum in its Global Gender Gap Report in 2014 estimates that it will take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity in the workplace. That’s a staggering 80 more years until companies and governments are equally led by men and women. This doesn’t just affect our generation at work, it will affect your daughters, your grand-daughters and even your great grand-daughters!

At WICT UK we think that’s just too long to wait so we are building an exciting agenda of speakers around this topic.

We’d love to see you there so please mark your calendars and look out for your invitation soon.

Helen

7 Things to Do When You Think You Can’t Accomplish Something

We all have those tasks we spend more time dreading than actually doing. Whether it’s working on your budget, immersing yourself in a presentation, or finally cleaning out the garage (which you’ve said you’ll do for six months now), there are many factors influencing your abilities to not only do it, but to do it well. It might sound easy to push it back each day but in the long run, you’re putting more pressure on yourself, building it up to be something a great deal more dreadful than it actually is. Here are some simple ways to get that thing done.

  1. Do something that energises you
    Half of the battle is feeling too drained to begin a task. Adjust your mind set by doing something you enjoy first. Whether it’s having a creative brainstorm at work, having a chat with someone who energises you, or going outside for a walk, know that you have the power to shift your focus and boost your mood. Starting it with fresh eyes will make the whole thing a piece of cake.
  1. Give yourself a maximum time frame to get it done within
    Set yourself a time frame and stick to it. Tell yourself you have 40 minutes to give this job your full concentration and no more. If it’s a big project, break it down into 30 or 40 minute chunks and tackle it bit by bit.
  1. Think about how you might feel once you’ve actually done it
    So you’ve been building this chore up to be much worse than it actually is by putting it off. Imagine the feeling of relief when it’s finally complete. How will it impact your daily routine and what more can you get done without all the worrying? Chances are you’ll have a clearer outlook and be more productive.
  1. Make yourself accountable
    Talk to someone about it and ask them to check in on your progress from time to time. That way you’re fully accountable if you start stalling again. Who knows, they might even offer a fresh perspective and help you figure out a new way to tackle it.
  1. Take a look back at a time you’ve felt like a true champion at something
    Whether it’s feeling motivated by someone you truly believe in, championing the achievements of somebody who deserved that recognition inside of work or out, or winning that egg and spoon race trophy at Sport’s Day in year five, there’s definitely something you’ve nailed. It’s easy to get lost in the slog of a major project, so take the time to think about a time you felt like you did a spectacular job and how it made you feel. You can put that adrenaline to good use, giving your task everything you’ve got, however big or small it may be.
  1. Put on your favourite music
    Lift your mood and diffuse that looming project with the music you love. Some people simply focus better with headphones on. Going back to point #1, you’ve re-energised yourself, taken a break and set yourself a time frame in which to get it done. If drum ‘n’ bass helps you power through with no distractions, then mission accomplished.
  1. Know that you can do it
    Don’t doubt yourself. Believe you can get it done without spending hours rationalising every minor detail. It has been assigned to you because you’re fully capable. Extinguish any self-doubt you might have and give it all you’ve got.

Sanjana Modha

Scott Says: November Update from the WICT UK President

I don’t know about you but I just love Christmas! I purchased my new outside Rudolph a couple of weeks ago from my local garden centre – I couldn’t resist him. He was the last one one on the shelf and looked so lonely that I just had to have him.  My husband looked on with that patient, “Oh please can it be over soon?” look on his face, but then even he admitted when we got home that Rudolph did look great on the enclosed porch.

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When travelling through Amsterdam airport this week imagine my delight when I spotted the pop up Christmas shop in the arrival area just by the exit. I willed myself not to go in however a quick look at my watch told me that I could afford ten minutes. There is something very special about looking at Christmas decorations in another country. Everything was either white, grey or sliver, such a classy shop.

As we are getting close to Christmas it’s of course time for the annual WICT Christmas networking event.  Cooley are very kindly hosting this on 8 December and we are very lucky to have a speaker, Ann Montgomery, from our Netherlands office of Liberty Global. Ann was heavily involved in WICT US and was a member of their board for a long time so I’m really looking forward to hearing her speak and to network with you all as well.

The invites have already been sent out so make sure you sign up soon as space is limited.

The countdown to Christmas has begun.

Best wishes,

Helen

Scott Says: October 2015 Update from the WICT UK President

“If women are going to lead in business, they’re going to have to lead themselves”.  Said Hoda Kotb (NBC host and bestselling author) who gave the opening keynote speech at the WICT Leadership Conference in New York at the end of September. This was not her saying that there’s no support to help women progress their careers.  However she was making a point about how we have to take ownership of our own progression.

Approximately 800 women and a few brave men attended the conference. It was amazing to be in the presence of so many talented, professional women all striving to make a  difference and succeed in our amazing industry.  As I joined various breakout sessions and a Chapter leaders group I was struck again by the importance of having a diverse group of people contributing to an agenda. Indeed I lead a WICT UK board made up of 13 women plus myself and it’s a great development opportunity managing an agenda where everyone is super passionate and wants to contribute!  So ask yourself what development opportunity can I find this month and what am I going to do to lead myself to lead in business.

Halloween is almost upon us… and then the Christmas decorations will be in the shops.  Make sure you’re holding the 8th December for our WICT Christmas event hosted by Virgin Media.

Best wishes,
Helen

Round Up: Leadership – Sharing the Vision

Huge thank you to all who made it to our September event, Leadership – Sharing the Vision, during which our panel of top media executives shared the advantages and challenges of being a leader and their secret recipes for leadership success. In case you missed it, here are some of the key messages our speakers had to share.

  • Honor Pollock, on the recruitment differences between men and women, said that whilst she finds that men are often much more apt to promoting themselves in a work environment than their f​​emale counterparts. Men often give a much more defined view or who they are, their strengths in the workplace and how they want to develop their career. She advised to the room that women often need to work on their self-promotion and not be afraid to put themselves forward and shout about their strengths.
  • Michelle Russo’s key piece of advice was to be fearless and always have the confidence to pursue your goals and ask for help. She has the view that to be a leader you should chase a title but instead a career, if you are passionate about what you do then others will want to follow, and that is the key quality of a great leader.
  • Phillip Luff told the room that that if he could go back in time and warn his younger self it would be to ‘slow down and look where you are going’ both physically and mentally. After being involved in an accident while crossing the road he confessed that he was in a place in his life where he was just speeding ahead without thinking, after the accident he made sure he never rushed again and set his career at a pace that he was comfortable with and in control of.

See you all at our upcoming Christmas networking event, Tuesday 8 December. More details to follow shortly.