5 Ways to Empower Young Professionals to be Successful

5 Ways to Empower Young Professionals to be Successful

There is nothing quite like a young professional with potential, high aspirations and a yearning to make a difference. But how do you turn aspiration into opportunity, and then turn opportunity into success? I recommend these five tips for young professionals of promise looking to turn their dreams into reality:

Listen and learn: I know that you’re well educated and have a lot to offer in the workplace, and I understand that sometimes your older colleagues might seem to you like old-fashioned digital
dinosaurs. But your more experienced colleagues have a lot of wisdom to impart. Take the time ask questions, share ideas and learn from elders and superiors what has been their formula for success. It
might not end up being the exact path you take, but you can always adopt some of the strategies of those who went before you into your own journey.

Work on weaknesses: The sooner a young professional identifies their weaknesses the sooner they can start addressing them head-on. Once you’ve identified your blind spots, you can work to improve upon them, or even surround yourself with folks whose strengths complement your weaknesses, and vice versa. It is always a positive to know what’s missing from your tool box. Because then, you’ll know how to make steps to fill the gaps.

Charting your path: From the outset, you’ll want to be strategic about where you want to end up and mindful about what you need to get there. Be intentional about your career, learn what kind of leader
you are early on, and start plotting the steps to achieve your dreams as soon as possible. The clearer the goals you set for yourself, the more likely you are to reach them.

Financial fluency: Don’t ever fear the math, because it will impact you in so many ways. Good credit and a solid understanding of finances can be absolutely key to achieving your dreams. And be sure to keep a solid handle on any student loans that might come your way. Far too often we see people mired in debt that they had not sufficiently vetted beforehand. Keeping a keen eye on your finances will
benefit you every step of the way. And remember: It’s never too early to start planning for your retirement.

Work ethic: Excellence, commitment, intentionality, and reliability. These are the four tenets I have applied in order to get to where I am today. Not only will these qualities help you when challenges fall
into your path, they’ll also ensure that you work smarter and not harder – making your journey much more manageable.

A young professional who focuses on self-awareness, preparation and discipline will be best suited to respond when opportunity knocks. Make sure you are training yourself accordingly so that you can take
it to the next level when your chance arrives.

8 leadership tips to help you into the C-suite

8 leadership tips to help you into the C-suite

Navigating your career into the C-suite requires intentionality and dedication. You’ll learn a lot about yourself as you master how to overcome barriers and seek out opportunities. Ultimately, if you stay focused and make the right moves, you’ll find that you’re prepared when opportunity knocks.

Here are a few tried and true tips for making that journey to the top:

  • Do the work, build the skill sets – I know this from experience: If you want to be an effective leader later on, you must develop expertise in your field today and continually build on that experience. Hands-on employees will better understand their team’s needs and concerns as they find themselves in top positions down the road.
  • Know your strengths, AND your weaknesses – Ultimately, a leader should want to build on existing strengths while acknowledging and addressing weaknesses. It’s okay if you’re not a star at everything. Few—if any—people are. One of the tremendous benefits of the C-suite is that you’ll have the opportunity to build a brilliant, complementary team around you that can fill in gaps where you could use some help.
  • Master the business side –​ Don’t focus solely on the mission and fail to master the business/finance side of your organization. Dive in on the finances, revenue growth and strategic leveraging opportunities from the onset. Educate yourself early on what makes the numbers work for your business and the sky will be the limit once you’re in the C-suite.
  • Build your network and find a mentor – No matter your industry, a timeless key to success is making genuine connections with other professionals. You never know who may end up helping you along the way—or, even better, who you may help move ahead. Always make sure you’re building your professional community, and keep an eye out for a potential mentor who has been down your path before and is willing to help guide you toward your dream leadership role.

  • Learn from mistakes – Challenges will occur on your way to the C-suite. That’s okay. Even after you’ve made it, you’re going to continue to experience learning moments. In fact, once you’re in that leadership role, it will be more important than ever to commit to your own personal growth and development. Keep learning and growing.
  • Take calculated risks – If you approach your career from a place of fear, it will only hold you back. A discerning risk-taker can advance him- or herself and an organization in ways a timid one cannot. However, be sure to keep the right people around you to carefully analyze risks and help you take the right chances at the right times.
  • Put your best foot forward – If you commit to excellence in your work and stay positive and optimistic about your future, then you’ll find you have more opportunities than you might have ever imagined.
  • Be proactive – That dream job of yours is simply not going to fall into your lap. You need to scope out opportunities for advancement and be willing to make that move. Make sure you are always striving for excellence, regularly making that ask, and shining bright like a diamond.

 

The road to the C-suite will be paved with potential for growth. If you work hard, keep an eye out for opportunities, and stay positive and proactive, there’s no telling how far you’ll go.