Katrin Kull has seen that there are many opportunities for women on their career paths, but there are also stumbling blocks. Here she shares her most important tips and shortcuts for other women and career starters.
Especially at the beginning of my career I thought: If I work hard enough and contribute to the success of the company, then my achievements will be seen and I can develop further. A typical way of thinking that I’m observing again today in young female colleagues.
I have learned that doing great things is not enough – you also have to make sure that it is seen. Have you learned or achieved something exciting, achieved great success? Show what you can do! A colleague of mine calls this “working out loud”.
What’s the best way to do this? Social networks (internal and external) are a good option. Write a short post and tell others why something you have accomplished makes you happy. Set up a newsletter for your topic or department and send it out when you have something exciting to tell. And very important: Celebrate the successes of other women when they talk about it.
Do you want to advance? Then make it a habit to consider for each new year where you want to invest money and time in yourself and your professional advancement. This can be coaching for a specific skill you would like to learn or refine. Someone who trains you for bigger performances. Or someone to show you how to style yourself for success in your industry. I recommend a planned approach – between Christmas and New Year I always set my “self-investment” priorities for the next year and take care of the coach and appointments directly.
Katrin Kull is Head of Marketing DACH at cloud provider AWS.
In job interviews, I always find it incredibly difficult to answer the question of where I see myself in five years. How should I know? So many exciting things are coming my way! in such a long time! I never knew the exact answer to this question and I still don’t know it today – and I am convinced that that is ok!
What you should know, however, is the answer to the question of what your passion is, your mission, your inner compass. Is it important to you to lead and develop people? Do you want to contribute to society – beyond your current role? Do you want to be the absolute expert in your field and pass on your knowledge? Stand up for what you find important and always make professional decisions based on it.
What is indispensable for this: cultivate your passions, especially outside of your job. Make sure you have things in your life besides work and your closest family that inspire you, fulfill you and make you happy. This gives you a valuable balance – and who knows, maybe it will even happen that such a passion will help you in your job?
Time and time again, I see people working in a job because it seemed like the only right step to move up the career ladder—the seemingly only way to make more money, lead a large team, or more to have “power”.
I recommend that you follow the joy: Find YOUR personal path to success. Opt for roles that allow you to do much of what you love to do. Let yourself be inspired by the many great women in your environment and in social networks. Look for role models. But don’t compare yourself, find YOUR unique way.
Typologized assessments like the Myers Briggs Type Indicator can be a good place to start to find out more about your skills, preferences and motivation. Also, ask yourself (and make a note of) in which situations of your everyday work you are in the FLOW: engrossed and happy, so that you forget how time flies. You want to see more of that in your next role!
No, things don’t always go according to plan. If you hit a wall in your current role – see it as your chance to learn from it and grow! When in doubt, you’ve learned what you DON’T want and what doesn’t make you happy. There are no wrong choices when it comes to your career and it’s never too late to make a change.
Your own “fan club”? Many women are far from that thought. But for this long-distance career, you need people who celebrate you, who think you’re great and who stand by you when things don’t go so smoothly at work. I call these people my “fan club”. It consists of a few close friends, colleagues, mentors and family members who like and support me.
Very few people in my fan club have a very precise idea of what I do professionally or what exactly it takes to achieve my next career goal. What they have in common is that they listen to me, celebrate my successes and comfort me when I fail. You probably already have some of these people in your life – discuss your “career” thoughts and plans with them, even if they don’t seem to be able to help much in terms of content. It feels good to have someone who gives you positive vibes. And: If possible, be in the fan club for at least one other woman.
The Mission Female business network, founded by Frederike Probert, is actively committed to more female power in business, society, media, culture, sports and politics. It unites successful women across all industries with the aim of making further professional progress together.