Getting ahead in your career doesn’t happen by accident. It requires planning and constant pursuit. That’s why working for a company that invests in you, truly wants you to succeed and enables you to grow personally and professionally makes a big difference in your career progression.
This week McAfee hosted our first-ever CMO Development Forum where our marketing and communications teams heard from leaders across the business, followed by breakout sessions for their own learning and development. As McAfee’s SVP and Chief Human Resources Officer, I was honored to speak to the team about my career journey and share lessons I learned along the way.
Whether you are just out the gate, or more experienced in your career, I hope my top five tips are helpful in your own career journey. Here’s what I shared:
1) Stay Hungry.
Whatever field or role you want to be in, the key thing is to be the best you can be and commit to staying the best. Understand your role, your industry and if you don’t know something, use everything at your disposal to figure it out. And once you’re an expert in your field – make sure you’re an expert in the business.
2) Celebrate Each Other’s Success.
There is enough room for everyone. I truly believe that. Maybe you missed out on a promotion, or a colleague was recognized and rewarded instead of you. Begrudging someone else’s success won’t get you anywhere. Instead, celebrate the success of others. Let’s lift each other up! And then use it as an opportunity to reflect or ask your leader what more you could have done. Find out what your development areas are to get you to the next level. Map out your future career path and show your manager you want it!
3) Work Hard. Work Smart.
There’s no way around it – you have to work hard. But what distinguishes someone as a productive high-performer is when that person is working hard on the right things. You’ll find the task or project that has the biggest impact for your career and business is the one that requires the most focus. Start your day with those big, difficult jobs until you reach your goals. Relentlessly prioritize.
4) Own Your Brand.
When someone says your name, what do they think? What values do they associate with you? Do people perceive you as self-centered or self-aware? Do they see you as a know-it-all or a fountain of knowledge? Are you a leader who motivates people or just a manager who pushes people too hard? These traits are all similar, but how they are perceived by others makes a huge difference. Know the value you bring to the table. And in everything that you do, make your values shines through.
5) Take Pride in Everything You Do.
Martin Luther King Jr. said, “If it falls to your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music … Sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.” This is one of my favorite quotes. No matter how big or small, take care in your work. Your work, your actions, represent you, so make sure you’re proud of your work.
Looking to join a company that invests in you? McAfee is hiring!