PubMatic is passionate about investing in not only our partners but also in our own workforce. Over the past few years, we have increased the number of training and development programs and offerings for our employees and look forward to continued growth in the future.
One of the ways we encourage growth is through personal development. A group of female managers from our Pune, India office recently attended a seminar by the co-authors of “How Women Rise,” Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith. The attendees, including Pallavi Kulkarni, Meghana Deshmukh, Shalmali Patil, Ritika Surana, Shweta Oak and myself, were able to glean helpful insights on how to advance our careers.
The book and seminar focus on key habits that they suggest women address to grow in their careers. These habits translate beyond gender though and are helpful reminders to every employee within an organization. Here are our shared reflections on 10 key recommendations that resonated with our team and led to discussion on how we can each grow.
1: Claim Your Achievements
Helgesen and Goldsmith noticed that many direct compliments or praise are often diverted to others such as a team, boss, or assistant. Some people may feel shy, or undeserving, rather than simply accepting the compliment. To grow and address this tendency, the authors recommend gratefully accepting the praise and simply owning your wins.
2: Be Your Own Advocate
Many employees don’t ask directly for recognition, promotion, assignments or opportunity to advance in their careers. Advocating for themselves, rather than others, is a challenge we see in every region and industry. The authors found in their studies that many women, in particular, feel their managers are already aware of what all they have done or achieved and thus felt they would get recognized, eventually.
Rather than waiting, employees should have an open conversation with their bosses about their expectations, aspirations and support it with data. Highlighting your own strengths will help the team grow and allow you to excel in your career.
3: Don’t Over-Value Expertise
Many employees often try to master every single detail and component of their job. We know that skills and knowledge are required for success, however, perfecting every aspect of a job can lead to a tiring, endless drudge uphill. In addition to skill sets, we also need to focus on building relationships and gaining visibility to reach the next level.
4: Leveraging Your Relationships
Women are generally known to have outstanding relationship skills. We gladly spend time and energy getting to know people but we tend to shrink away from the prospect of engaging others to further our own ambitions.
The book suggests that to overcome this habit, without taking advantage of the other person, we need to understand that leveraging connections is a two-way street. In fact, it can benefit both parties and mutually increase both networks.
5: Enlist Allies From Day-One
Most people jump into a new position and focus solely on the details of their role, rather than learning about team dynamics. It is important to start building connections immediately; this will put you in a much stronger position to succeed. We all need allies where we work, whether they are peers, colleagues, co-workers, higher-ups, sponsors, or direct reports.
6: Think Long-Term
It happens to everyone. We get really busy at work, so busy that we often neglect to position ourselves for the next move or position. Helgesen and Goldsmith found that women are especially loyal to their team, boss or company and thus tend to remain in their positions for longer than men. Over time, however, this undermines their long-term satisfaction and diminishes their earning potential. To overcome this habit, it is important to view your job as a stepping stone, not a destination. The present work is important but keep the bigger picture in mind.
7: Avoid The “Minimizing” Syndrome
Communication style is key to growing in your career. Yet, it is something that many people struggle with. Being too “soft” or speaking only when addressed directly can limit your effectiveness. Additionally, using language minimizers (such as “just”) in a conversation might sound polite but using weak language and gestures could be perceived as lack of certainty. We should also brand our expertise by forthrightly using first-person language, rather than the royal “we” when describing our own accomplishments.
8: Don’t Dwell In The Past
Reflection is important but we need to be careful about focusing too much, and for too long, on the past. There will be conflict at work but rather than dwelling—or ruminating—on what happened, keep your focus on the future and what you can do to improve next time.
9: Focus On The Big Picture
Don’t get caught up in the logistics or current situation and forget the bigger picture. Striving to be perfect may have helped you get where you are, but it’ll get in your way of reaching higher levels. Focusing on perfection creates stress, for you and for those around you. It keeps you riveted on details, rather than the big picture.
The authors recommend that you focus on what is necessary and the crucial points at hand. This will allow you to grow beyond the current task, become more efficient and grow in your career. Keep the key objectives and end goals in mind, while working out the requisite details.
10: You Can’t Please Everyone
While win-win situations sound great, they are nearly impossible. With many competing goals, timelines, and areas of focus, you will rarely be able to find a solution that works for everyone. Try to not get lost in the details and focus on what needs should be prioritized.
If you would like to learn more about PubMatic’s culture and see our open positions, check out our Career’s page today.