MBA Q&A: You Need Career Accelerator Skills to Advance

online mba

For ambitious women, it’s not enough anymore to be a subject matter expert. If you want to advance in your career, you need career advancement skills! That’s the message I shared with MBA Online’s blog today. Here’s an excerpt from my interview:

What can women in business school earning an MBA do today to help themselves for leadership roles after graduation?

In today’s competitive environment, it’s not enough to be good. You have to be great. And it’s not just about subject matter expertise. It’s about people skills, branding, vision.

You talk about being “great.” How can women quantify their “greatness”? Any tips for articulating that to management, business professors, or a board room?

It’s about quantifying your value-added. I counsel my coaching clients that it’s not enough to ‘say’ how great you are. You have to be able to demonstrate it, and preferably quantify it. It’s about measurable outcomes – numbers, percentages, the bottom line.

So get in the habit now of always asking yourself, ‘How do I know?’ How do I know that I was great at that job? What are the criteria for measuring success? It’s a challenge at first to think in these terms, but once you groove the habit, you’ll be far-and-away ahead of the pack in advocating for yourself, getting that raise, landing that new job, or acing the promotion.

That said, there’s also the more qualitative world of ‘social proof.’ What high-profile new clients did you land? What prestigious group did you address? What national awards have you been given? As they tell writers, don’t tell me. Show me.

Can you tell me more about WomenAdvance.com?

WomenAdvance.com is the online career accelerator for women that I’m building. It’s my way of offering younger women–aspiring executives–an affordable alternative to private coaching. It’s also my way of moving more women past the glass ceiling. Because in my coaching with mid-level women, I realized if I can help younger women learn the five essential career advancement skills EARLY in their careers, they won’t have to come to me a decade down the road. So it’s also part of my feminist commitment to advancing women.

I’ve distilled the five essential career advancement skills after almost a decade of coaching women professionals: brand, leadership, social capital, executive presence, and talent development.

Read more of the interview, about developing social capital.

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