The tradition of crafting New Year’s resolutions provides us with the opportunity to reflect on our personal and professional growth, and to set a roadmap for the year ahead. Consider embracing resolutions that not only elevate your career but also contribute to the broader landscape of inclusivity and empowerment of others. From enrolling in a leadership course to actively advocating for underrepresented individuals, seeking mentorship, and exploring new career avenues, we’re here to support your career goals in 2024.
These 5 actionable New Year’s resolutions will transform your career aspirations into tangible accomplishments.
- Expand your network
- Invest in a professional development course, we know some great ones 😉
- Mentor or seek mentoring
- Sponsor and advocate for women or others underrepresented in leadership
- Apply to join a Board or Committee
Did one of the above ideas spark your interest? Read on for more guidance to help you set your professional New Year’s resolutions.
1. Expand your network for career development
What is professional networking and why does it matter?
There are a number of benefits of professional networking.
- Networking increases your social capital helping you meet people at different professional levels and industries.
- The exchange of ideas can help you professionally to try new things.
- Networking can increase your confidence.
- Networking can help you in your career progression.
How to start networking
Start up a conversation with a colleague, someone in another role or department or reach out to someone inspirational on LinkedIn.
Attending events is also another great way to network. We host a number of events throughout the year:
- The annual Women’s Leadership Symposium Series.
- Industry specific summits.
- Exclusive breakfasts.
Build your network in 2024 at The Women’s Leadership Symposium Series
Our Symposiums bring together women leaders and senior decision makers from all sectors and industries for a powerful day of connection, inspiration and learning. You might just find your next collaboration partner during the lunch break.
Join Australia’s Premier Women’s Leadership Event. Book early for discounted tickets.
2. Hit your career goals with an online professional development course
Embrace a growth mindset by upskilling in 2024 with an online leadership course designed to take your career to new heights.
Regardless of your level of seniority, or what you are looking to achieve we offer a selection of online leadership courses for professionals at every level. Each course has a focus on developing transferable ‘soft skills’, including communication, handing conflict, empathy, innovation, teamwork and leadership.
Image Credit: Susan David Ph.D.
Our courses have helped women land promotions:
“The ALP helped me get promoted!…I applied for 2 roles at my current organisation that had come up due to a restructure, and got both of them!” says Geethani, Advanced Leadership Program Graduate.
Our professional development programs for individuals start with Impact, for women outside formal management roles, Leading Edge for aspiring leaders, Executive Ready for experienced women leaders, and our career–defining Advanced Leadership Program for senior and executive leaders.
“I was new to a role in leadership and was stumbling through my own development in this space. Whilst participating and having since completed the course, I am a different person! I have learnt how I can develop my skills and abilities with a toolkit of different strategies and techniques. My network is now further afield within my organisation and external to my organisation.” Bianca - Leading Edge Graduate
We also offer Short Courses throughout the year for a targeted leadership boost focusing on some of the key leadership skills you need to thrive in today’s workplaces.
Our Vital Leadership Series is back in 2024 with targeted learning masterclasses to improve your stress management, decision-making, team dynamics, and resilience. Enrol in single masterclasses or join us for the series. Find out more.
By creating dedicated spaces for networking, discussion and learning our graduates develop and master the essential leadership capabilities and workplace skills needed to achieve their goals.
3. Mentor a colleague or seek mentoring yourself
Have you ever considered seeking mentoring for your career goals? Or perhaps you’d like to mentor the next generation of leaders. While a mentoring relationship is often primarily intended to benefit the mentee, the mentor also has much to gain in experience, confidence and knowledge.
What is mentoring?
Mentoring is usually an unpaid/voluntary relationship between someone in a senior role, or with many years of experience, and someone earlier in their career. A mentor aims to support the mentee’s personal and professional development through coaching conversations and sharing experiences and knowledge.
Here are some things mentoring can help with:
- Increases knowledge of business or a specific industry.
- Improves goal setting.
- Validates ideas or allows for constructive criticism.
- Provides new professional connections.
- Increases confidence.
How do you start mentoring?
Women & Leadership Australia’s Expert Mentor Program is a great place to start.
This one-day interactive workshop supports leaders to maximise their ability to guide and develop others through mentoring.
Guided by practising mentors, participants will:
- Define mentoring and understand how it differs from other helping practices.
- Explore their own mentoring mindset.
- Learn the elements of successful mentoring partnerships.
- Understand the phases of mentorship and practice tools for each.
- Engage in peer group discussion to both support and challenge their thinking.
How do you find a mentor?
- Approach someone you work with who inspires you. Reach out with a short email message or have a quick chat in the break room.
- Send a message on LinkedIn, or another social media network.
- Have a look outside your professional network at friends, family or local businesses.
It can feel daunting to reach out to someone for mentoring. Remember the people you’re approaching have likely had their own mentors throughout their life. The worst that can happen is they say no, so consider having a list of 2 or 3 potential mentors to go to.
A mentoring relationship is truly a win-win experience.
4. Sponsor and advocate for others through inclusive leadership practices
It’s lonely at the top if you’re on your own. Just as important as your own career trajectory, is ensuring you also co-elevate those around you through supportive and inclusive leadership practices.
What can managers do to help advocate for women and others?
A good manager is accountable for sponsoring talented women and other team members. Offer stretch assignments and back them for secondments or promotions.
Is there someone in your team who you think deserves recognition? Promote their potential and performance when they’re not in the room and consider nominating them for an internal award if your workplace offers this.
Flexible online courses for professional development and inclusive leadership
Women leaders and aspiring leaders should be given the opportunity to participate in women’s only leadership programs. These programs provide psychological safety which fosters learning. After your staff complete a program ensure they are given time to reflect and re-integrate and give them opportunities to apply their learnings on real workplace projects.
Men should also be included by participating in programs to learn about inclusive leadership traits such as intersectionality and unconscious biases.
Our Inclusive Leadership program is for groups of leaders and managers of any level and any gender looking to:
- Develop the signature traits of inclusive leaders
- Improve team performance, culture, and collaboration.
- Increase inclusion and embrace diversity.
Inclusive workplaces benefit everyone: staff feel valued and supported, team cohesion is strengthened, innovation thrives, and business outcomes improve.
5. Apply to join a Board or Committee
Women’s representation on boards in Australia is an area that needs action. The proportion of women members on boards stayed the same as the previous year at 34% according to WGEA data.
In Victoria, there are over 32,000 board members serving on over 3,400 public entity boards. There are also many private company boards.
Image Credit: WGEA Gender Equality Scorecard 2022-23
In our recent webinar, How Men Can Support Action for Gender Equity, panel member Dr Terrance Fitzsimmons, Managing Director at Australian Gender Equality Council, spoke about the importance of women on boards.
“One of the very early and probably most important interventions in getting more women on boards happened with the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) Board Mentoring program.
The ASX 50 chairs, who were all men at the time, signed on as mentors in the AICD program. They donated their time and upskilled highly qualified women to take future roles.” says Dr Fitzsimmons.
That program went on to contribute a significant number of the women currently on listed company boards.
Committees, just like boards, need more women’s representation. Joining a board or committee is great for your career and can also be personally rewarding.
How do I join a committee?
- Start small and gain experience.
- Enquire at your school for parent committee roles such as fundraising, building and facility maintenance and finance.
- Start volunteering at a local NFP or group and enquire about their committees/sub-committees.
- Seek out Consumer Advisory Group positions, these are common at large community organisations such as hospitals.
How do I join a board?
- Ensure you have had enough executive/ management experience.
- Fill in knowledge gaps such as accounting or marketing.
- Look at an organisation or industry that you know well.
- Seek out a mentor to help guide and prepare you.
We hope these 5 New Year’s resolutions to advance your career in 2024 have inspired your goals for this year. Contact us to discuss how we can support you.