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Execs share career-boosting tips in Seattle

Thursday, June 12, 2014  
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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More than 70 industry members learned strategies to advance their careers at the NEW Pacific Northwest spring learning event, June 4, 2014 at the Seattle Sheraton.

Women who want to move into leadership roles face a number of challenges, including "you can’t get a next-level job without leadership experience, but you can’t get the experience without the job.” said keynote speaker Jo Miller, CEO of Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. Miller was joined by Dawn Hepburn, territory finance manager for Brown-Forman; Jennifer Dimaris, vice president, channel brand management at Starbucks; Lisa Austin, executive vice president, sales at Oberto; and Kim Johnson, district manager, Seattle area for Albertsons, who offered career-building advice.

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Gender bias is another obstacle. While men continue are typically evaluated and promoted based on their potential, women are evaluated on their accomplishments. Also, women most often apply for a new role when they believe they meet all of the position’s requirements, while men will apply when they meet 60 percent of the job’s requirements, which leads to fewer women being promoted. "Women should ask for the job early and often,” Miller said.

Dimaris advised women to "create visibility – share metrics with managers and ask that they share upward.”

Women need to lay career groundwork with sponsors and mentors. "Mentors coach you,” she explained, while "sponsors promote you to others.”

"Don’t wait too long to know and express that you are ready,” Johnson said.

"Line up people and resources based on each person’s core skills,” Hepburn advised.

Get to know your team and their skills to be able to better leverage them,” Dimaris added. "Get everything out in the open at the beginning, work on advancing your relationships over time.”

Peer input can inform your career choices. Consulting with former peers about past successes is helpful. "Have open conversation and talk about why you were promoted,” Dimaris said.

Austin warned against giving into insecurity. "Realize you are never fully ready for your new role,” she said. "Trust in yourself and be patient once you land the new role.”

Companies sending delegations to the event include Advantage Sales & Marketing, Brown-Forman, Costco and Starbucks.

Katie Moore of GE, Howard Robboy of Consumer Connection, Desire' Hunter
of Brown-Forman, Jeff Heiberg of Consumer Connection and foodservice
professional Maria Costin enjoyed networking at the NEW Pacific Northwest
spring event in Seattle.

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