When it comes to building a successful and rewarding career, women tend to focus on performance, while neglecting the importance of image and exposure. Claim the whole “PIE” to reach your career goals.
There are many paths to a great career and no two journeys are the same. However, most success can be attributed to three main principles, or pieces of the PIE.
Most people, especially women, focus primarily on the performance aspect of their career. Excellent and consistent performance is the price of entry to be considered for additional responsibility, which is why it makes up 70% of the PIE.
But don’t be content with focusing only on this piece. Image and exposure are increasingly important, especially as you progress in your career.
The image you project is your brand identity. Your image should be consistent, especially with so much exposure in social media and the 24/7 nature of communications. It is important to project an image that reflects your values and your personal brand.
To improve your image, work on developing your own voice. This contributes to your personal brand and how others perceive you. Do the people you work with trust you, believe in you, and know they can count on you? Are you consistent in doing what you say you will do? Do you express your point of view in group settings? Do others ask your opinion on key topics?
It is a lot easier to gain exposure once you have performed consistently at a high level and created a positive image. Develop a broad and diverse network both inside and outside of the organization you work for. Treat this group as your own personal board of directors. Another advantage of a strong network is that you will benefit from their different perspectives and opinions. It’s important to build your network in advance of needing one; you never know when you may need help.
The path to a great career begins with you. As you move forward, remember: “If it’s to be, it’s up to me!” Your performance shapes your image which impacts your exposure. It’s all tied together. As long as you consistently deliver great results, add value, and build relationships, you can build a great career.
Don’t just focus on one piece; claim the whole PIE!