4 Ways to Achieve Your Leadership Goals and Become a Leader in Your 40s

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Beth Braccio Herring for FlexJobs
Beth Braccio Herring for FlexJobs
Contrary to the standard career path, you don’t necessarily need extensive experience or expertise to become a leader. You can find success relatively early in your career by focusing on the relational aspects of leadership, rather than limiting your growth to role-related tasks.
You’ll also need to take advantage of opportunities to develop a solid personal brand that will help distinguish you. You’ll need to create an image or identity that makes you attractive to executives and markets you as the ideal leadership candidate.

Achieving a Leadership Role in Your 30s

A successful career isn’t just about what you know today but also what you can learn tomorrow. By intentionally developing your skills and leadership qualities, you will be better positioned to stay ahead of the career curve.

1. Establish yourself as a professional.

If you want to get promoted into a leadership position in your 30s, you’ll need to show off your leadership mindset. That means never missing a deadline. Be the one others count on when they know it has to get done, has to get done right, and has to be on time. Business changes can occur rapidly. The best leaders can adapt quickly, so you’ll need to embrace change. Calmly accept events for what they are, analyze them clearly, and make forward-thinking decisions based on the best information available.
Knowing the company’s overall goals and objectives and being strategic in supporting them will also help you stand out from others who can’t see the big picture. Showcasing that you have a leadership mindset can help you fight against any preconceived age bias that you’re too young to be effective.

2. Be a leader before you’re a leader.

Taking the initiative and demonstrating leadership skills are essential for career advancement. There are many opportunities to showcase these skills at work. For example, speaking up to voice your opinions and ideas, volunteering for stretch assignments, and improving efficiency.
Your actions will speak louder than your words, so you must be a team member that leads by example. If you are dishonest or disrespectful, your team will not follow you anywhere. Instead, aim to be a role model that others can look up to. Be honest, reliable, and hardworking, and encourage your team to do the same. Resist the urge to point out your successes continuously. Instead, focus on inspiring others to see their potential and reach new heights.

3. Build relationships first.

Strong relationships are essential for any aspiring leader. After all, it’s hard to lead effectively if you can’t rely on the trust and support of those around you. Good relationships also take time to develop. As a future leader, you need to be patient and put in the work to build strong bonds with your team members and other professionals who can mentor you. Strong relationships require building regular communication and networking skills.
You’ll need to express your ideas clearly and concisely while listening carefully to the feedback of others. Additionally, it’s essential to be respectful of different perspectives and take the time to build rapport before asking for favors or advice. You’ll be setting yourself up for success by investing in relationships.

4. Focus on continuous development.

A successful career isn’t built on technical skills alone. Sure, you need to have the hard skills required to do the job, but you also need soft people skills if you want to get ahead. That’s why it’s essential to have a solid career development plan that you can reference in performance evaluations and be continuously investing in your ongoing career development.
Look for opportunities to learn new skills and grow your network. Professional speaking courses can help you hone your communication skills, while networking events allow you to meet new people and learn about different industries.
Consider volunteer opportunities to broaden your perspectives and grow your career skills in ways you can’t always gain in a boardroom. You’re positioning yourself for long-term success by investing in your career development. Technical skills may get you the job, but your people skills will help you keep it and move up the ladder. So, if you’re serious about your career, make sure to invest in your professional development.

Achieving Your Leadership Goals

Achieving leadership status in your 30s is a laudable goal that is definitely within reach, provided you are willing to put in the hard work required.
As someone looking to take on more responsibility and be seen as a reliable and supportive team member, you will need to focus on developing a clear plan for your career and commit to continuous growth. Proactive networking and actively seeking out mentorship opportunities will help you become a well-rounded team member. You’ll inspire others around you and stand out from your peers.
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This article originally appeared in FlexJobs. FlexJobs is the leading career service specializing in flexible work, providing the largest database of vetted remote and flexible job listings. To support job seekers in all phases of their journey, FlexJobs offers a range of services including expert advice, job search events, and career coaching. FlexJobs also works with leading companies to recruit quality remote talent and optimize their remote and flexible workplace.

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