I recently hosted an amazing group of industry experts at my Panel & Speed Mentoring event. It was a great night where top performers, entrepreneurs, corporate gurus, and recruiters shared their insights on how you can accelerate your career!
The advice and tips that the audience received were so valuable that I decided to put some of them together into a series of blog posts. In this post, you’ll learn from top performers and corporate veterans on how to get promoted faster, stand out as a top performer, leverage social media, and get hired as a new graduate. Here we go!
1. When do you know that someone is ready for a promotion?
“In my position at Bell, I do a lot of recruiting and promoting. The key foundational elements that I look at are if the candidate is able to do the job, if they understand the organization well enough, and how long they’ve been with us. Then, I look at what separates them from everyone else. Top talent are those who can demonstrate exceptional passion, motivation, drive, and values that make a leader successful. When I look to promote someone, I’m looking for people who can move from being individual contributors to being able to lead the organization into the future. Having a future-focused mindset that you can back up with the right skills and experience is what will make you stand out.” – Carson Cheung, CMA & MBA, Director of Loyalty and Retention at Bell
2. What sets a top performer apart? How do they differentiate themselves as top talent?
“Being a top performer is about analyzing who you are and understanding your strengths so that you can leverage them. The keys to success are knowing who you are, what you like, and how you can best position yourself for success. Hone in on your strengths so that you can realize how you can make a difference in other people’s lives.” – Irfan Daya, MBA, Senior Account Manager at RBC
3. How can you leverage social media to accelerate your career?
“LinkedIn is your number one tool as a professional. If you don’t have a blog or a personal webpage, brushing up your LinkedIn profile is a great way to showcase your portfolio and experience. My personal favourite social media platform is Twitter. I’m a marketer, so what I’ll do is find top marketing gurus on there – people who I aspire to be like – and reach out to them. Sometimes, they’ll tweet me saying that they have a spare 15 minutes and were wondering if I’d like a phone call. I’ve received some amazing advice and tidbits from them! Reaching out and making connections on these platforms can change your life.” – Jonathan Chiriboga, PMP & CSMA, Marketing Manager at The Home Depot
4. What are the benefits of getting a post-graduate degree like an MBA? How does it help you in your career?
“I was a consultant in my early career, so it was very typical for me to see my colleagues leave to go to business school and come back to get promoted immediately. Business school was like a gateway to accelerating your career. Even though I eventually left consulting, I still had the desire to go back to school. I put it on the back-burner for two years just to make sure that it was what I really wanted to do, then I sent in my application. My program made me much stronger in the areas of business that weren’t strong points for me, like finance and accounting. It also made me feel better prepared to tackle anything that life throws at me. That being said, you don’t need an MBA to grow in your career. If you’re debating whether or not to take that step, my advice is to figure out what you’re comfortable with and what you’re passionate about. If you’re certain that an MBA will help, invest in it and don’t look back. Don’t torture yourself by second guessing and asking ‘what if?'” – Vanessa Jang, MBA, Manger of Strategic Retail Partnerships at RBC
5. How can a student or new graduate communicate the value that they can provide to a company?
“In my role, I hire a lot of new graduates. The key is articulating two things: what you’re really passionate about, and why. I want to know about your experiences and qualifications, but I want to know more about why they were important to you and what made you do them. By getting an understanding of your motivations and whether or not you’re clear on what it is you want to do, I’ll be able to see if you’re going to come in every morning ready to give 100%. When it comes down to hiring students, the specific skills and abilities you have aren’t as important. I can teach you Excel, but I can’t teach you the motivation and drive you’ll need to succeed in your role.” – Carson Cheung, CMA & MBA, Director of Loyalty and Retention at Bell
Thank you to the incredible panelists who came to share their insights and mentor the participants! Stay tuned for more of my events where you can learn how to take your career to the next level and differentiate as top talent!