• Mary Wessel

Change the world by being yourself (and five other ways to make your career soar)

Updated: Mar 2, 2021

Written for Charity Meetup. Live link here.

Let’s face it. The world needs changing right now. As charity professionals, we’re already playing our part. But it’s a tough sector to work in at the moment – with extended furloughs, all-too-common redundancies and budgets being cut left, right and centre.

So the Charity Meetup Aylesbury put a spring in my step on a particularly rainy pandemic morning (thank you all!). Hosted by the super welcoming Dawn Newton and Leah Lewis, it focused on leadership and career development – kicking off with everyone sharing their favourite piece of careers advice during the mixing game in breakout rooms.

The event speakers Carla Miller, Leadership Coach, and Nikki Wrench, Wish Family Engagement Manager at Make-A-Wish gave inspiring talks, followed by a Q&A. The event took place online on the 21st October 2020.

Here are six great take-outs from the session:

1. Change the world by being yourself:

What a golden nugget. (Ever felt you need to pretend to be someone else at work?) Integrity and genuineness shine through in people who are simply themselves. So trust in yourself and trust in who you are.

2. Write a success journal:

When you’re in the midst of a busy job or in the process of applying for a new role, it can be easy to forget your wins. Keeping tabs on all your successes, big and small, can be a big pick-me-up on tough days and quick reference when going for a new role. Won a new corporate fundraising partner? Stick it on the list. Contacted a recruiter? Scribble it down. It all counts.

3. Find your three power words:

How you are is as important as what you do. So it matters how people perceive you – whether that’s colleagues, clients or managers. If you have a meeting or interview coming up, figure out which three qualities you’d like people to see in you. Then use that as a filter to what you say and how you say it. Want to be perceived as considered? Take your time before answering a question.

5. Find a mentor (or become one yourself):

Find someone who inspires you and ask them for a virtual coffee. It can be that easy to find a mentor. And you don’t have to be a CEO to become one yourself. Even if you’re one step ahead on the career path, you’ll always have helpful experience to share. There’s something to learn from everyone – whether you’re a mentor or mentee.

6. Network:

Surround yourself with supportive people who keep you inspired, give honest advice, and cheer you along when the going gets tough. There are lots of networks popping up (see those listed below for starters) so reach out and find your people. And where better to start than with a Charity Meetup?

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