This is the Career Advice You Need to Hear Before 2020 is Up, According to 13 Business Leaders

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April 12, 2024 at 11:46PM UTC

Season 6 of Fairygodboss Radio is brought to you by Cisco.

Q4 is often a time for reflection. We may be asking ourselves how we made a difference in our organizations this year, or how we are hoping to make an impact next year. We may be checking in on how we're building purposeful and fulfilling careers, especially during turbulent times. 
Considering these big questions is easier when you have a community behind you — especially a community that's willing to share what they've learned from their own processes. 
In Season Six of Fairygodboss Radio, 13 women who are making waves in the business world sat down with Fairygodboss President Romy Newman. They shared their career experiences and provided guidance for how we can improve the workplace for women.
Along the way, they also shared their best advice for women who want to build careers they can be proud of. Here's that advice, in their own words:

1. Be you. 

"Be you. You have to be you in the workplace. If you find yourself in a workplace where you cannot be authentically you, then you need to get out. You’re not gonna be happy; you’re not going to do your best work. You’re going to sit in meetings worried about raising your opinion. Do not be so worried about having a blip on your resume.” — Katie Ballantyne, AVP, Cornerstone University at Cornerstone OnDemand
"Have your own voice. Be authentic to yourself... If there are decisions that are being made, make sure that you get a chance to give your voice. It might not change the direction, but you will  feel like you’re part of the team if you’re able to be authentic to yourself and have your voice.” — Murika Matz, VP,  Customer Success & Sales at Cornerstone OnDemand

2. Be brave. 

“Be brave. We are taught from the time we’re young to adjust to our surroundings and to just make it okay. Sometimes your surroundings aren’t okay and sometimes your life situations aren’t okay and sometimes your work situations aren’t okay. And in those times, you have to remind yourself to be brave and trust your instincts, your intuition, your intelligence. Be bold. Be brave.” — Nicolle Pangis, Chief Executive Officer at Ampersand

3. Don't worry about what others think. 

“Do it afraid. I spent so much of my early career and life being afraid of what people would think and how they would react. Just do it afraid. Do it. It’s okay to be afraid, most of us are. But just jump in and try.” — Mita Mallick, Head of Inclusion, Equity and Impact at Carta

4. Know how you want to show up. 

“To remind myself of who I want to be and how I want to show up, I use the acrononym RBG. R is for 'be reliable.' Always do what you say you're going to do; deliver when you say you’re going to deliver. Make sure that you set people’s expectations and follow through. B is for 'be bold, be brave.' It’s important to go for the things you want. Don’t be shy. There are so many opportunities out there and people will listen to you if you feel strongly about something. G is for 'have a growth mindset.' We are all learning all the time. Don’t feel that because you made a mistake or because something didn’t pan out the way you want it to that there’s nothing to be learned from it. It’s from your mistakes that you learn the most. Have that growth mindset and get out there.” —Luciana Duarte,  Global Head of Employee Experience at HP (Duarte has dedicated her episode in memory of Ruth Bader Ginsburg) 

5. Believe in yourself. 

“If you don’t believe that you should have a seat at the table, nobody else will either. Don’t wait for something to come to you. Go out and ask for it. Secure that invitation. Once you have it, believe that you should be there. Listen, observe, find your voice and believe in what you bring to the table.” — Carmen O’Neil, Head of Raw Materials Purchasing the Americas at Continental

6. Live in the service of you. 

“We get stories told to us about how we should show up in the workplace — women especially, but everybody who experiences being sidelined. We get messages everyday about how we shouldn’t be, what’s the right thing to do, what’s polite... You know it in your bones what is good and what is right.  And the only person you don’t want to disappoint is yourself and your values... So as long as you live in the service of you, go forth and conquer.” — Trey Boynton, Global Lead, Inclusion & Collaboration Strategy & Alignment Inclusive Future & Strategy at Cisco Systems

7. Just ask.  

“Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.” —  Kelly Kay, Executive Vice President and Chief Finance Officer and Chief of Diversity and Inclusion at Toyota Research Institute

8. Never stop learning. 

“Never stop learning. It’s so important to be learning every day. Businesses are transforming, companies are transforming. Invest in self-development. Set time to allocate to self-development. It’s important to develop your career and take those assignments. Invest in depth in a certain field or a series of fields, and also invest in breadth. Make sure you have business acumen, understand where the business is going, what the competitive landscape is and how your company is positioning itself to continue to win.” — Carolin Seward, VP Data Platforms Group at Intel 

9. Take time to reflect and build relationships. 

“Practice resilience. You get to choose how you respond. Practice reflection. It’s so important that we understand our opportunities. And then build relationships. Because even those who are individual contributors don’t truly work alone — we all work with and through others.” — Tracy Pitcher, Senior Vice President Comcast Business, Northeast Division at Comcast

10. Be a problem solver. 

“Think critically and be solutions-oriented. Don’t be defeated by the problem at hand; be willing to be part of the solution. Help each other focus on the things we can impact. Don’t get mired down in the things that make us feel helpless.  Focus on what you can do today, and just roll up your sleeves  and ask: 'How can I help?'” — Angie Grilliot, VP, Talent Marketing at UnitedHealth Group

11. Get comfortable with the idea of you being great. 

“You belong in every room that you enter. Stand out. Own it. You’ve paid your dues, you’ve done the work to get there. Now be comfortable in the seat that you’re sitting in.” — Michelle Gadsden-Williams, Managing Director & Global Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at BlackRock

12. Don't let others define you. 

“Don’t let other people define your limits. We’re all capable of more than we can imagine.” — Sonia Cargan, Chief Diversity Officer at American Express

For more advice and insights on women in the workplace, listen to Fairygodboss Radio (available on Fairygodboss, Blogtalkradio, Apple Podcasts and Spotify). 

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