Strategic networking, confidence, and embracing new challenges are key to career advancement in the Process Chemical industries, according to Beth Schlitt, a seasoned professional in sales, marketing, and supply chain.
The following are the main takeaways and key insights from her recent interview.
Takeaway #1: The benefits of networking and confidence
Networking, according to Schlitt, isn't merely exchanging business cards - it's about building a reliable support system. "It's crucial to have people you can turn to," she said, emphasizing the importance of intentional networking, both within and outside one's organization.
Equally important, Schlitt points to confidence as a vital ingredient for career growth. She reflected on a former manager who championed her self-belief. Today, she urges women to harness their confidence to reach their career goals.
Takeaway #2: The importance of stepping outside your comfort zone
Schlitt's career trajectory isn't a linear path. She shed light on a critical juncture where she switched gears from marketing to supply chain management. "I made a decision to venture into a new industry and function that required building a fresh network," she shared. The experience, according to Schlitt, not only honed her leadership skills but also highlighted the importance of cross-functional collaboration.
Takeaway #3: The challenges women face in male-dominated fields
Working in the male-dominated realm of supply chain management, Schlitt acknowledged the unique obstacles women face. "I've grown professionally in a largely male environment, and it's been challenging but also very rewarding," she admitted. Her solution is inclusive team-building that respects diverse skills and preferences. Schlitt believes this approach fosters collaboration and bolsters overall company performance.
Networking is crucial for career growth, and it should be done intentionally and in all directions within and outside your organization.
Confidence is a key trait for success, and it's something one has to work on throughout their career.
Moving from one function to another within the same organization can be a pivotal moment in one's career, offering new learning and growth opportunities.
Mentoring doesn't always have to be one-on-one. Peer-to-peer coaching and mentoring can be equally powerful and valuable.
During challenging times, like the COVID-19 pandemic, leaning into processes, upping communication, and having good data and systems in place are crucial to meet and exceed customer demands.
In male-dominated industries, it can be challenging for women to establish a network. Team-building activities should be inclusive and consider different skill sets and preferences.
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