2018 is well underway and, hopefully you’re still full of the energy and enthusiasm you had when first setting your goals or resolutions for the new year. For many, that will mean an eye on a promotion, so this month I wanted to highlight Ashley Williams, who’s been a shining star at Pure SEO over the last few years.
Joining us in 2014 as a receptionist, Ashley has gone on a journey from working in an entry-level role, through to being one of the most promising young leaders I know. Currently holding the joint role of HR and Operations Manager, she’s done this at breakneck speed, so who better to catch up with for her top tips on progressing your career – and life – in 2018? Here’s what she had to say…
It may seem straightforward, but Ashley accredits a lot of her success to simply asking questions. “I’m just always interested in what’s going on around me, and I’m constantly trying to learn more and understand where things fit in the big picture,” says Ashley.
Earlier in her career, Ashley always felt as though she was detached from the businesses she worked in. She would come to work, perform the tasks in her role description, and have no real engagement in the bigger picture overall.
This all changed when she started asking questions.
I’ve seen Ashley’s understanding of business, and her ability to lead others, grow in leaps and bounds over the last three years, and I too accredit this to her newfound habit of questioning everything. Now, she understands the part she plays in the bigger picture of our business, and is naturally engaged in making that happen.
Get a mentor
“So much of what I’ve learnt recently comes from just watching others who are further ahead in their leadership journeys than I am,” Ashley explains.
Often the key to getting promoted isn’t learning some hard, technical new skills—it’s learning the soft things, like how to relate to others, and how to make difficult decisions. These skills are best learnt along the way, and there’s no better way to learn on the job than by having a great mentor.
Talking about her mentors, Ashley says “Trust is so important. When you know someone has your best interests at heart, that’s when you can truly learn from them.” Find yourself a mentor who you get along with personally—someone you trust, who is further along in their career than you are –and they will help you take the next step.
Fall in love with your company
Love what you do, and you’ll never work another day in your life… We’ve all probably heard this said before, right?
Ashley offers a different view on this well-used axiom; according to her, it’s more important to love the company you work for, than the work itself. Not all work is intrinsically exciting, and it’s not always possible to enjoy tasks themselves. What is possible, however, is to truly buy in to a company’s mission and vision, and love the work you do because of this.
There’s no one way to fall in love with a company. For Ashley, this came when we took a chance on her—our faith in her was rewarded with her loyalty. For others, it’s more of a conscious decision based on where a company is headed and what it stands for.
To make sure that 2018 is the year you level up, take a leaf out of Ashley’s book and be sure to ask plenty of questions, grab yourself a great mentor, and fall in love with your company.