In 2015, thanks to the help of a number of amazing supporters and sponsors, WeAreTheCity ran the first of its Rising Star awards programmes. The aim of the awards was to identify 50 future leaders and role models under a management level across 10 different industries. After a staggering amount of nominations and an intensive judging period, we finally arrived at our shortlist and opened the public vote. The public vote resulted in over 15,000 votes from across 112 different countries and galvanized amazing support from our nominees’ networks, their companies, the press, as well as our own sponsors and supporters. After a final judging process, we identified our amazing top 50 winners and celebrated their awards alongside our sponsors, friends and supporters at the House of Commons in September.
Isla, please tell us what has happened in your career since winning the Rising Star awards back in September?
Within Accenture, I have been mentioned at two events, interviewed in a global webcast, featured in a newsletter and on our internal social media, Yammer.
As part of my Girls in STEM work at Accenture, we are currently in the process of organising an event across five locations for over 1,500 girls, aged 11-15 in January, which should be great.
So what top tips would you give to our other members to enhance their careers?
- Manage your own career – work out where you want to be, then talk to the right people, help out in the right areas, and get known for the right things.
- Manage your own time – performance is about productivity, not activity nor time in the office! Make time for other commitments and life outside of work. Learn to say no (when appropriate!). Yes, sometimes you’ll need to stay in the office late for critical deadlines, but then other times you should be able to leave early (or on time) for that theatre show or dinner date. Find your own balance that works for you.
- Expect peaks and troughs – it is unlikely that work will always be great and exactly what you want it to be. If it is then great, but normally there are highs and lows. As long as there are more highs than lows then that’s fine. Try not to get too down in the lows as you know there will be a high coming along soon. If there isn’t then it’s time to change jobs!
Emma, please tell us what has happened in your career since winning the Rising Star awards back in September?
In my professional life, the Rising Star awards have been a great profile raiser. Our managing partner circulated an email about the awards and people have been very supportive.
Given the current industry push for gender equality in Sport at all levels, it would be great to see some of sport’s national governing bodies, high profile athletes and other stakeholders working with WeAreTheCity in future years to either support or recognise the awards and what they set out to achieve.
So Emma, what top tips would you give to our other members to enhance their careers?
- Spend time learning about the value of (and how to implement) effective goal setting and self-evaluation: hard work without focus or direction and absent the ability to learn from your mistakes (as well as your successes) will rarely get you anywhere.
- Spend time investing in the people you surround yourself with: it’s not easy on the way to the top or even once you get there. You will need people you can rely on – both inside and outside your organisation – to give you sound advice and sometimes some harsh truths!
- Take time to celebrate your successes: this was something I did very poorly as an athlete and it led to wasted periods of low motivation and productivity and is therefore something I have tried to improve upon in my second career. While you should always set your next target after achieving a goal, failing to recognise where you have come from is counterproductive. Celebrating your success will build your own self-confidence and give you the motivation to push forward and achieve that next goal.
Final two things I would say are:
- Never undersell yourself. There will be enough people who will voluntarily do that for you – don’t prove them right. You must be your own biggest advocate; and
- Never underestimate the power of smiling – it will relax you and it will put other people at ease. Plus, securing your dream job or career is a lot about the journey and what you learn on the way and who doesn’t want to be happy while striving to reach their dreams!
WeAreTheCity would like to extend our sincere thanks to all of our Rising Stars for sharing their successes with us. We are sure you will agree that they are all achieving amazing things and offering sound advice to future Rising Stars.
We look forward to featuring another three of our rising stars next week. Please note our Rising Star programme for 2016 opens on February 1st. More details will be posted to the site during January – click here for more information and to register your interest in our awards