Leveling up in your career is a long-term game. No one gets promoted overnight. Climbing up the corporate (or entrepreneurial) ladder takes real commitment, hard work combined with strategy and most importantly, patience.
Kaethe Schuster, Sales & Marketing National Account Executive at The Dow Chemical Company, can certainly speak to this. Kaethe has been with the company for 19 years, 17 of those in the construction industry. Prior to being promoted to strategic account marketing and management, she has held the roles of Market Manager, Product and Asset Manager, Customer Service Team Leader and worked in acquisition on-boarding in customer service and operations.
Kaethe is a huge advocate for women shattering glass ceilings, taking the plunge and asking for what they deserve. Her career trajectory is a testament to the power of showing up, going above and beyond, being patient and building great relationships.
She shares her tips on how to become irreplaceable at work and positioning yourself for upward mobility:
“In my tenure in the construction industry, I have learned that being fully and consistently engaged is the first step to becoming accepted and actively included. It is also imperative in overcoming any potential bias, whether it be gender, age or even industry experience.
Whether you are in a board room or on a job site, you should make yourself stand out and be heard by proactively creating connections with your colleagues. Never be a bystander, think ahead and always bring something original to the table. Providing industry insights, contacts, ideas and other relevant solutions will make you valuable.
If it makes you more comfortable, form alliances with colleagues you already have, and work together to support each other to ensure you are being heard within larger group settings.
Being consistently engaged may also involve participating in activities that you typically may not venture to do. Conferences, events and meetings in industries that are traditionally more male, often incorporate activities such as fishing trips, skeet shooting, golf tournaments, and so on.
These activities are often where rapport, trust and lasting bonds are developed. Don’t risk missing out because you lack some basic experience in the activity at hand. There’s absolutely no reason why everyone shouldn’t join in on these events, and by showing others that you’re game to learn a new skill or improve upon your skills, speaks volumes about your work ethic and desire to be part of the team.
And it will likely take some time, but the real key is to: Show up. Be sincere. Become a trusted advisor.
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