Self-help books not giving you the kick in the arse you need? Make these IRL moves instead.
Consider a move if your industry’s stagnant – swap cities, or even countries. Qualified primary school teacher and former Miss Ireland Emma Waldron moved to New York two years ago and is currently social media manager for app Hooch. While it “isn’t an easy city in many respects… everyone here understands that journey and so they are quick to lend a helping hand, introduce you to someone who could help you, look over your pitch deck, mentor you… the list’s endless.” Danny Lee of Alibaba gave her advice on establishing her own fashtech business. “I miss home, my friends and family, every day,” but the end goal will be worth it, she says.
Paging Sheryl Sandberg who’s all about this. Knowing you’ve someone at home and a phone call away who will support your goals means you can lean in. Make sure you and your partner gel when it comes to professional ambitions. Have the marriage and baby talk early on. You need to know where their value system lies.
Documentarian Aoife Kelleher says that to negotiate more money, especially, “in an area such as film, where everything’s up for negotiation, the most important thing’s to be informed.” Get on Messenger, arrange a blitz of coffee meetings, ask people what their pay looks like. “Do as much research as you possibly can before negotiating your fee so you can feel confident asking for what you deserve,” Aoife says. “Find out what men with equivalent qualifications in the same jobs are being paid. You may well discover you’ve been underselling yourself.” Leverage that research into a higher ask.
27-year-old Melanie* is currently transitioning careers: “I met a woman in consultancy at a conference years ago and she said to always be upskilling. I regret not doing a masters in business after college as my job hunt would’ve been more seamless and my starting salary higher.” Forbes lists engineering/computer science masters and tax qualifications as wage increasers, so invest in some impressive lines on the CV.
We’re all about JOMO and taking time to look after yourself, but some career paths demand saying yes to every opportunity. Take barristers and journalists – both gigs are largely freelance and incoming work’s reliant on a solid reputation. “I never turn down work,” says medical journalist Danielle Barron, while barrister Sarah* says even the smallest gigs helped her grow her knowledge base.
This article first appeared in STELLAR’s January/February issue. Our March issue is on shelves now!
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