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Three-step guide for women seeking mentorship, career boost

Company, ValuesKirsten Berg, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

March is Women’s History Month, a time dedicated to celebrating the contributions of women in history and in today’s society.

To applaud the efforts of the many women who keep our company running and provide them with the tools they need, GapWIL (Women in Leadership), a Gap Inc. resource group for employees supporting women’s professional growth and development, held an event at our San Francisco headquarters focused on how women can increase confidence in the workplace, and ultimately, push their careers to new heights.

Here’s what we learned…

SECURE A MENTOR
Mentorship can pave the road to success. It’s all about gaining knowledge from someone that’s been there.

Now here’s the hard part for some – it’s understandable that you could become shy when it comes to asking someone you admire to be in your corner. You’ve looked up to this person, perhaps they’re a superwoman in the industry and deep down you know they have a lot to offer you.

If you’re at all nervous to put yourself out there, here’s a few tips on how to ask:

1.     Exude confidence: Know you’re valuable and bring something to the relationship

2.     Lean on the facts: Take time to express how you’re prepared to deliver, in bullet point form if it helps

3.     Don’t limit yourself: Consider creating relationships with not one, but two sponsors within your company

And remember, at the end of the day, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. You’d be surprised what people would be willing to do for you if approached.

But the onus is on you to pop the question…

COMMUNICATION, VISION IS CRUCIAL
The work doesn’t end after you’ve asked for and confirmed a mentor, that’s only when it begins. And the first step is communicating to your mentor what you’re after and how you see yourself getting there. That will allow him or her to get a better grasp on your goals and come up with a plan for you to follow.

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Articulate your vision—where you see yourself in 5-10 years, what you’re willing to sacrifice, what your strengths are and how you can lean on them to consistently make headway. And don’t be afraid to mention your weaknesses, either.

All this, and more, should be communicated concisely to your mentor.

Mentors are only as helpful as you allow them to be. If they understand exactly what you need, it’s more likely your relationship will move forward and bring you closer to your goals.

BELIEF IS A POWERFUL THING
Believe in yourself and what you’re doing, always and without hesitation.

If you don’t fully believe you can reach your goal(s), and don’t have a plan for getting there, the odds are high you’ll come up short.

Additionally, celebrate your successes when possible!

Confidence builds through a series of small steps. So, when you conquer a goal, celebrate it! Then, get ready to go for an even bigger risk. It’s about positivity creating more positivity.

If you execute this plan, you’re sure to position yourself for success! Now go out there, dream big and be whoever you want to be.