For a while I had been feeling like I wanted more. I wanted to grow and develop other abilities beside my researcher skills, but I wasn’t sure about the what and/or the how… I have been working as a Research Scientist for a biotech company for a while now and I recently got the chance to develop as a Community Manager within the same company. How did I do this? I got inspired from a podcast, and implemented some of the tips and advice.
The podcast I am talking about is “Advice To My Younger Me” by Sara Holtz. After 20 years on a corporate job, Sara changed her career and dedicated herself to help other women succeed in their career and in their life.
In her podcast, Sara talks with different women about career situations and obstacles that women experience in the workplace, and together, they give advice on how to handle those situations. Even though the episodes are dedicated to women, I believe the advice they give can be useful for everyone. In her podcast, Sara addresses everything, from daily work obstacles and workplace conflict, to dealing with insecurities and having your voice heard.
I found this podcast series very enlightening and wanted to share with you some of the most valuable tips I have taken from it (so far). So, here, 7 valuable things I have learned from listening to “Advice To My Younger Me” podcast:
- Everyone can be a mentor, and you don’t need to ask for permission. When you ask someone to be your mentor, people feel the pressure of dedicating their time and effort, and it can feel overwhelming for them. Instead, just start treating them like mentors without asking: most people are willing to help and share their knowledge and experience. (Episode 123)
- Leverage is perception based. When you go into a meeting or negotiation with your supervisor / boss, the results of that meeting depend on how you show up. The good news is that you have control on how you show up! Prepare for the meeting, write down what you want to say and even practice in front of the mirror. If you feel prepared, you will feel more confident and that will be perceived by your boss and lead to a better outcome. (Episode 114)
- Own your mistakes and learn from them. We all make mistakes, and that is part of life. What you have to do is focus on the process of learning and growing from your mistakes. (Episode 61)
- Strengthening your strengths is a better strategy than strengthening your weaknesses. Sometimes we put too much focus on what we should improve about ourselves. However, the solution might rely on looking at what we are good at and becoming excellent at it. (Episodes 68-70)
- You have the right to speak your mind and get your voice heard. Sometimes it is hard to get your message through, and even more so when you are in the early stage of your career. In this episode we learn about a great strategy consisting of 3 steps: 1. Have a headline: the message you want to be heard. 2. Have supporting points, and 3. Have a tagline: call for input, not permission. (Episode 112)
- You have to change your mind before you change your feelings. While talking about the impostor syndrome, we hear how we need to become aware and change the way we talk to ourselves in situations that trigger our impostor syndrome. Only then, we will be able to over come it. (Episode 33)
- You can turn your current job into your dream job. I think this is a great advice, and even though it is not easy, start by identifying your strengths, which activities and tasks you enjoy the most at your current job. Then, align them to the goals of the company and then ask your manager to do more of those. (Episode 122)
Following the podcast’s tips, I found a task I would be excited to perform in my current work place, that was also a need for the company. I prepared for the meeting with my supervisor, wrote down my 3-step strategy, fought back my impostor syndrome and showed up at my best! And you already know the answer: it worked! Now I can say that additionally to my Research Scientist position, I am also developing as a Community Manager.
If these messages resonate with you and you want to hear more about them, I encourage you to go and listen to Sara’s podcast: