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'Get out of your own way' to boost your career

Tuesday, May 12, 2015  
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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"Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness," Lori Hall, CEO of Knock Inc., told nearly 200 NEW members at the NEW Chicago spring learning event, May 7, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Schaumburg, Illinois.

Hall joined Lori Alexander, manager, nutrition for PepsiCo Inc.; Nancy Krejsa, senior vice president, investor relations and corporate communications at Six Flags Entertainment Corp.; Chris Prociv, co-president at Innovation Station; and Tierney Remick, senior client partner and president, consumer market, Korn Ferry to share insights on bold career moves and self-advocacy during the panel discussion "How to Get Out of Your Own Way." Dr. Angela Joyner, vice president and general manager at ConAgra Foods Inc., moderated the event.

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The panelists emphasized the importance of communicating your career goals and not being afraid to take risks. "Talk to people ahead of time," Krejsa said. "Don’t wait for the role [you are interested in] to open up."

Interested in a role for which you may not feel 100-percent qualified? "Don’t underestimate the competence and expertise you have," Remick advised.

Make it a point to foster self-confidence, Alexander said, encouraging NEW members to keep an accomplishment journal to help with confidence on a bad day. Hall advises "putting yourself outside your comfort zone, and to keep doing it. The more you do it, you become uncomfortable being comfortable.”

Building self-confidence in others is a key leadership trait. "Always start feedback with a compliment," Krejsa advised, which makes a positive difference in the recipient’s confidence and acceptance of the feedback.

In hindsight

Asked what career knowledge they would share with their 20-year-old selves, the panel urged attendees to enjoy their career journey while taking steps for personal development.

  • Remick encouraged attendees to make their career "an adventure."
  • "Don't feel entitled," Alexander cautioned. "Stay empowered. Find aspirations and be happy in the moment"
  • Prociv advocated for "finding an internal or external mentor or life coach."
  • Krejsa suggested "taking advantage of network organizations such as NEW."

Organizations sending large groups to the event include Coca-Cola, ConAgra, Kraft Foods Group and Sears Holdings Corporation.

Gladson teammates Gina Bradley and Steve Hasselbeck networked with
Angela Joyner of ConAgra Foods at the NEW Chicago spring event.

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