No matter where you are on your career path, chances are you’ve got your sights set on a professional goal.
As a woman in marketing, however, those goals can quickly become focused on results for your client and team versus your own growth and trajectory as a professional.
While that can serve your team, clients and company well, it’s about time to start dreaming bigger for your own future.
The hardworking women in marketing deserve to work their way toward the C-suite, but executive level positions can feel out of reach or obscured by personal goals or the immediate needs of your team.
Luckily, there are a few easy ways to distinguish yourself as a rising talent in the field without having to transform into a completely different person.
Here are a few tips to help you along your path to becoming a leader and securing your place among the top of your field.
Where are you now?
The first step on the journey to the C-suite is to take inventory of where you are in your career right now. It might be time to totally revamp your professional goals and adjust your career trajectory if you want to land in the proverbial corner office.
This can happen at your annual performance review, but you don’t have to wait. Change can happen as soon as you’re ready.
Develop authentic relationships.
Don’t just network or socialize — start making genuine connections with colleagues, peers and mentors.
Not only will these relationships yield valuable insight and opportunities throughout your career, your authenticity will burnish your reputation and help you strengthen key leadership skills, like emotional intelligence.
Go above and beyond.
Always be proactive, but never be a doormat. Instead of expecting process improvements or strategy innovation to trickle down from current C-suite leadership, take the initiative to start a new program or propose improvements. Bonus points if you offer to manage your new idea in addition to your existing responsibilities.
Never stop learning.
If you’re reading this article, chances are you regularly consume professional development content and like to stay on top of your game by listening to podcasts, going to conferences or subscribing to newsletters.
Those are all great practices, but to make it to executive leadership, you’ll probably need an MBA to really stand out from the pack. Some schools offer GMAT waivers for online MBA programs, which leverage your professional experience so you can get right into studying for your MBA. This saves valuable time while you continue to work in your current position.
Lead with confidence.
Take yourself and your role seriously. Owning your responsibilities and enthusiastically leaning in to whatever challenge you face will not only bring you success, it will make you irreplaceable and unforgettable to the current leadership in your company.
When you think, act and communicate like you’re a critical player in your team and vital to the success of each project, you can make it along the path to the C-suite with the grace and determination befitting your future position.