Getting noticed… another of my career 9 Situations
One of my career principles has always been that it is often the side-of-the-desk stuff that gets you noticed, sponsored and promoted. This was equally true in Citi, in Barclays Wealth and in Zurich Financial Services.
In Citi, this was their original women’s network and female development programme I set up. In Barclays, it was their global female leadership development programme and becoming Barclays Wealth Diversity & Inclusion Champion. In Zurich Financial Services, it was the introduction of a global client referral programme.
I choose these programmes and activities deliberately because I knew they were each regarded as high value initiatives that the organisation had been planning to do for some time but had no one to drive them forward.
In all three instances, they lead to my having access – and exposure – to the global senior leadership level and its secrets and insights that would not have been possible in my ‘day job’. In addition, the women’s leadership work led to several Group awards and to being recognised as a UK Woman of the Year in 2005. It also became the springboard to totally change sectors in 2009 when I was appointed a Commissioner of the UK’s Women’s National Commission.
This extra work gave me an enhanced set of skills and knowledge bases and greatly enriched both my career, reputation and the current roles I was doing.
Reflection: It was very tough at times, but it was also different and this made it doubly worthwhile. The key given here was to do the main job – really well – because there will occasionally be detractors and those who wish to block your progression. And if you’re not excelling at your day job, you should not be doing any other work until you are.