Ca­reer moves you have to make

What does it re­ally take to get to the top of your game? We asked seven key power play­ers… and this was their ad­vice

Cosmopolitan (Australia) - - Contents -

Rave all night in Ibiza. Learn a lan­guage (you will never, ever use). Date some­one with no job/no hope/no soul. We’re all aware of the rites of pas­sage that we’re sup­posed to pass through on our way to be­com­ing a more ‘rounded’ per­son, but what about in our ca­reer? What mo­ments do we need on our road to be­ing suc­cess­ful? Seven business women ex­plain the mile­stones that they had to go through in or­der to boss it.

BE A LONE WOLF

‘I go to the Just for Laughs com­edy fes­ti­val in Mon­treal on my own ev­ery year. There are so many net­work­ing events, and go­ing alone re­sults in great op­por­tu­ni­ties, as you have to talk to peo­ple. I’ve al­ways found it’s best not to be shark­eyed and con­stantly on the look­out for the most im­por­tant per­son in the room. In­stead, fo­cus on be­ing friendly, rather than talk­ing work straight away.’ – KITTY LAING, HEAD OF COM­EDY AT UNITED AGENTS

F*CK UP HUGELY

‘I once pressed “stop” in­stead of “record” when I was film­ing a piv­otal scene for a prison doc­u­men­tary I was work­ing on at the time. I tried ev­ery­thing to style it out, but I was a to­tal wreck for the rest of the shoot, be­cause I was wor­ry­ing so much! Now I re­ally re­spect peo­ple who can say, “I made a mis­take, and here is how

I am go­ing to fix it.”’ – VARI INNES, PRO­DUCER/DI­REC­TOR OF FIRST DATES

OWN THE PEN

‘Learn­ing how to get my point across in a large con­fer­ence meet­ing has been vi­tal to my ca­reer. Over the years I’ve found it’s best to oc­cupy the po­si­tion in the mid­dle or at the head of the ta­ble to stop your voice get­ting lost. If there’s a flipchart or white­board, try to get con­trol of the pen – peo­ple will talk to you, be­cause they want to get their idea on pa­per.’ – NIKKI YATES, SE­NIOR VICE PRES­I­DENT AT GSK, A SCIENCE-LED GLOBAL HEALTH­CARE COM­PANY

NET­WORK SOME­WHERE A LIT­TLE BIT WEIRD

‘My school re­union was the last place I ex­pected to fur­ther my ca­reer. But then I got chat­ting to my now­business part­ner Jes­sica Her­rin. Her back­ground was very dif­fer­ent to mine – I had al­ways worked in re­tail, while she was tech­minded. Now I al­ways say to peo­ple to at­tend events where you will en­counter peo­ple out­side your nor­mal cir­cles. Of­ten the best ideas come from com­bin­ing two seem­ingly dis­parate ideas and vi­sions into one.’ – BLYTHE HAR­RIS, CHIEF CRE­ATIVE OF­FI­CER AT STELLA & DOT

WORK WITH SOME­ONE YOU FIND DIF­FI­CULT

‘I was once tasked with lead­ing the PR ef­forts on an ac­count that had a CEO who was no­to­ri­ously hard to please. I had so many ideas re­jected. I re­mem­ber ly­ing on the floor of my of­fice one night com­pletely out of in­spi­ra­tion. And then I re­alised none of my meth­ods were crazy enough. So I tried some­thing com­pletely out of the box and it worked – a cou­ple of months later, an ar­ti­cle came out in [business mag­a­zine] For­tune, and soon af­ter, the com­pany sold for tens of mil­lions of dol­lars. The CEO told me it was a di­rect re­sult of great PR. You some­times need a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion to be pushed out of your com­fort zone.’ – ROSETTE PAMBAKIAN, VICE PRES­I­DENT, GLOBAL COM­MU­NI­CA­TIONS AND BRAND­ING AT TIN­DER

MAKE LIGHT OF A CRI­SIS

‘Back in 2002, the red car­pet at the BAFTA film awards be­gan to foam as a re­sult of tor­ren­tial rain mix­ing with a fire­retardant treat­ment in the car­pet. In­stead of pan­ick­ing, I made light of a bad sit­u­a­tion by telling the at­ten­dees that at least their shoes would be fire­proof for life. It is all too easy to get caught up in look­ing at why, when it’s bet­ter to deal with find­ing a so­lu­tion to the is­sue at hand. There will al­ways be time later to look back at the prob­lem, learn from it and make sure there’s no way it can ever hap­pen again.’ – AMANDA BERRY, CHIEF EX­EC­U­TIVE OF BAFTA

DO A JOB YOU AC­TU­ALLY KIND OF HATE

‘I used to sell health drinks to bars and restau­rants. It was a com­pletely thank­less job. No one took my calls or my drink. Ever. If 10 is a jump­in­the­air great day and one is an I­want­to­gob­ack­to­bed­and­never­get­up­a­gain day, the most of my days were about a three. Now, I try to hold onto how do­ing that job made me feel, so I can dif­fer­en­ti­ate a bad day from a bad job.’ – FAR­RAH STORR, EDITORIN-CHIEF OF COS­MOPOLI­TAN UK #

QUACK THIS SHIT, I’M OUT OF HERE!

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