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Career Tips From Some Of Ireland’s Most Successful Businesswomen

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Silvana Landa McAdam, international distribution manager, Max Benjamin

If you have career ambitions and dreams, you have to just go for it. You have to take risks – what’s the worst that can happen? You might not get that particular role you applied for now, but your mind is already set on changing, on embracing a new challenge. That is very powerful.

If you have career ambitions and dreams, you have to just go for it.

If you see a position advertised, don’t focus on what you don’t have. Chances are nobody has the exact profile that a company is looking for. Look at your strengths and convince yourself that those will get you there.

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Natasha Fennell, director, Stillwater Communications

Networking is a necessary evil in business, and face-to-face is the most impactful. Don’t just talk to the person you came with. Start conversations with others. Compliment someone on what they’re wearing. If the person isn’t wearing a name badge, ask them where they work.

Networking is a necessary evil in business.

But the key is to ask a question – people love talking about themselves and you’re learning about them. If you think there’s potential for you to do business together or simply meet again to share knowledge, suggest swapping business cards. Don’t forget to follow up with an email pretty quickly.

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Gillian Horan, MD, The Pudding

Personal branding is fast becoming as important as company branding. You need to identify what messages you want to communicate to the world. Live your brand (who you are), show your personality, your expertise through your Tweets, blogs, comments. Be consistent!

Don’t be afraid to stand out and be different.

It is much easier being you, but get clarity on who that is first. Then tell the world. Oh, and don’t be afraid to stand out and be different.

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Grainne Barron, founder and CEO, Viddyad

You cannot control the public message about you and your brand – it’s public, they’ll say what they want – you can only control what you do, how you act, and how you respond.

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Carolan Lennon, managing director, Eircom Wholesale

I think giving and receiving feedback is one of the most important skills needed to be a really effective leader. Taking the time to acknowledge great work and also point out when things could have been handled better is one of the best things you can do to develop your team.

Leaders need to create an environment where people feel comfortable giving feedback.

If done in the right way, it can be very motivating – people see how interested you are in them and their development. Leaders also need to create an environment where people feel comfortable giving their boss feedback – this avoids group think, encourages challenge and, in my view, results in a more open and dynamic workplace.

For more insider advice, pick up the August issue of IMAGE Magazine, out now.

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