Jaleh Bisharat, VP of Marketing at oDesk, herself a highly successful businesswoman in the digital world, has some great tips for success for professional women. Her “7 Habits of Highly Successful Women in the Future of Work,” while focussed on digital, has good guidance for women professionals everywhere.
1. Know, create and promote your personal brand
As more and more businesses work with individuals such as freelancers, your personal brand is growing in importance. Increasingly, people with the right characteristics are sought to fit in with fluid projects and teams and this has increased the importance of your personal brand – how people perceive you when they first encounter you. Thus, it’s important to identify your personal brand, deliver on it consistently, and promote it in places like LinkedIn, Twitter, and meetups.
2. Focus on the 20%
How much of what you do makes genuine impact? There is a big difference between progress and motion and in an increasingly results-based economy, impact is more important than ever. The trick is to apply a framework to force prioritization. Ask yourself “Is this work part of the 20%?” and you will find it changes the way you work.
3. Prioritize people
Work with great people and they will open doors for you. This may mean sacrificing a bigger pay-off initially, but it’s worth it in the long run.
4. Evolve yourself every day
No matter how experienced you are, you need to be nimble and online and other learning options are very helpful. Successful people view education as a continuous, lifelong pursuit.
5. Deliver solutions, not problems
It is good to flag problems early, but successful people proactively find a solution.
6. Think outside the talent box
For entrepreneurs building a business, you no longer need to limit yourself to employees within a certain radius of your office. Think also, how much time you actually need from them, will a part-timer from another part of the country suffice for that bit of design work you need done?
7. Build a high-performance culture
If you are hiring people, it is possible, and important, to build a great culture with a virtual or blended team. And it’s not that different to the offline world. Simply take best practice for face-to-face management and implement. Write down performance-based objectives with clear deadlines, check in frequently, give clear feedback and rewards, and treat virtual team members as well as office-based ones.