Top career tips for women - Business Works
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Top career tips for women

Sharon Glancy, Director, Women 1st As we wave goodbye to an amazing Olympic year, isn't it time you planned for gold in your career in 2013? Here Sharon Glancy of Women 1st suggests the top five things you MUST do next year:

  1. Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition
    If you do not need to remember things and solving problems is not something you are ever called upon to do - then continue skipping breakfast. For those of us who have challenges to tackle most mornings, as well as the need to remember a plethora of small details, breakfast is the make or break meal of the day. Miss out on breakfast and you may well be damaging your chances of promotion; eat poorly throughout the day and you exacerbate the problem. Sound farfetched? Not so, says Times nutritionist Amanda Ursell who argues that certain type of foods can improve productivity and concentration, whilst reducing stress and absenteeism. Slow energy releasing foods such as sweet potatoes, oatmeal and low fat cheese will do you the world of good. Fresh berries make an amazingly nutritious snack.

  2. Learning never stops
    Inarticulate, under confident and nervous are not qualities anyone would associate with a successful executive. And they are unlikely to improve the chances of an individual being considered for promotion. If you suffer from any of those symptoms - it is time to change. Yes, some are said to be 'born' with leadership skills, but the good news is that there are career training programmes to help women boost their confidence, assertiveness and communications skills. An individual who is assertive and confident is more likely to be considered to be adding value and contributing to the business.

  3. Dude where's my mentor?
    Mentors play a pivotal role in programmes like the X Factor and the same applies to the business world. Our research indicates that women with mentors feel more confident in achieving their prospects. This is because, when you're looking to progress your career, there is nothing like getting advice from someone who has already achieved their goals and 'has been there and got the T-shirt'. If you don't have a mentor, the good news is there are career initiatives to help you find one, or two.

  4. The connected network
    It sounds clichéd but some say that it is not what you know but who you know. And, it's as true today as it ever was. E-mail is of course great, but nothing beats face to face networking - a critical element when climbing the career ladder. Unfortunately networking can be challenging for some women. The ability to network is linked to self-confidence and assertiveness. But, as Alexandra Rice from Coutts & Co who spoke at the 2012 Women 1st conference said. "Networking is like any other skill. The more you practice it, the better you get." Build on your network of contacts, arrange to meet some contacts for coffee and don't forget to attend networking events.

  5. Take cover
    Being financially secure in order to meet an uncertain tomorrow will put your mind at rest and boost your confidence. According to Hannah Foxley from The Women's Wealth Expert, "Women often find the financial sector, which is male dominated, intimidating and feel uncomfortable talking to a man about their finances." So, it is easy to bury your heads in the sand. Hannah has first-hand experience - she was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 33, but didn't have financial cover at the time. Knowing that you can face tomorrow's uncertainties is one less thing to worry about. This leaves you free to focus on climbing the next rung of that all-important career ladder.

Good luck!!

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