"Many people believe that developing your career means changing companies, and not infrequently."
Marianne van Duin, Regional Vice President
I’ve learned that you’re responsible for your own career, and you need to manage your own path. Even if you decide to stay with one company, you can (and should) grow your career and volunteer for additional responsibility. I get concerned when I review resumes that show an individual changing jobs every one to one-and-a-half years. By the time you really understand the company and your role and can contribute fully and let everyone know what you’re capable of, you’re leaving. I have more confidence in people who show commitment and take on additional responsibilities or those who have rotated jobs within the same company. This indicates loyalty.
My top tips are as follows:
1. Develop a strong personal brand and be visible.
A strong personal brand and a credible reputation puts you on the radar for exciting career opportunities. So make sure your colleagues know who you are and something about your unique skills and accomplishments. Learn to tell your career story in a concise and interesting way. That said, don’t expect you’ll be approached for a new role or promotion. I learned this the hard way. I was bypassed for positions while less qualified colleagues were getting the job. You have to speak up and let management know you’re the best candidate for the job.
Let management know you’re interested, and that you want the job. Many women make the mistake of not applying for roles they’re capable of doing. Instead, they work hard and wait to be recognised and rewarded. If you don’t apply, you can’t get the job. Assess your skills, and ask yourself if you’re capable of doing the job. If the answer is yes, then what are you waiting for?
2. Build your network.
Establish networks both inside and outside of your organization so that you have plenty of options. You want people to remember your name when interesting projects are being discussed. Building a strong network is worth the investment of your time and effort.
3. Ask for feedback. Feedback is a gift. With feedback, you can improve, learn and grow.
4. Be persistent. If you really want that job or promotion, don't give up. Sometimes things don't happen as fast as we'd like, but once you've set a goal, stay focused.
5. Find a mentor. Building your network will help you find a suitable mentor. I’ve been lucky; I’ve had some excellent mentors throughout my career. Select a few mentors to guide you in different areas. Pay it forward. I’m mentoring several women in Equinix. It’s fulfilling to mentor women who have just started their careers. And I’m getting better at it.
The above practices have allowed me to develop my career. As a child, I always said that when I grew up, I would work for an American company. I would travel the world, and I’d be a manager with people reporting to me. Now, many years later, my dream as a little girl has happened. If you want something, you can make it happen. Nothing comes easy in life. Destiny, fate, karma, serendipity – whatever you call it—the idea that life is determined by powers beyond our control is as old as time. Believing that you control your own path means you have recognized your internal locus of control. I took responsibility for my thoughts and actions and their outcomes. By thinking this way, you can become unstoppable.
Acquiring a sales leadership position happened naturally and was part of the journey I had set for myself. If you’re looking for an organization that empowers you to advance your career, consider an opportunity with Equinix. Our sales team is expanding globally. Check out open positions.