Today we live in an era where everyone is calling themselves a leader, a coach, and an expert. The truth is the business world has become so saturated with people who just want to make a name for themselves versus really aiming to change the trajectory in their respective fields. It’s great to see those starting businesses and making decisions not to work a traditional job all their life, but there has to be some foundational work first before you can position yourself as an industry leader.
To position yourself as a leader in your industry all starts with service first. When I first entered the medical profession as a nurse, I remember the days of serving under other nurses to get my foundation. I had some of the best nursing mentors who not only taught me the ropes of nursing but also made sure I made it a point to always be in a learning environment. If you want to be at the top of your game professionally, you must be willing to invest in yourself by going the extra mile. I remember even after getting my nursing license, I made it a priority not to stop there. I continued to participate in every certification and training program I could. You must be willing to never stop learning if you want to position yourself as an expert.
Once I began to get some experience under my belt, I started participating in various workplace initiatives so my voice and my views would be heard. If you want to position yourself as a leader in your industry you must be willing to devote your time and energy. This is the only way you can continue to grow and position yourself around the right people. In every nursing specialty I’ve ever worked, I am on committees, boards, and a part of organizational teams. This not only shows leadership skills but it gives you a chance to learn from others in your industry.
You Belong in the Room
Part of positioning yourself as a leader is knowing you belong in the room. I have worked in environments where I am the only one who looks like me and it’s OK because I know I deserve to be there just like them. However, I am very smart by making sure I am well prepared and know my stuff. I speak up and give my opinion without hesitation because I have something of value to add. This is really important when you want to position yourself as an industry leader. The more value you bring to the table the better equipped you will be.
When you show that you are an expert in your field this not only makes you look good at work, but it will position you for higher salaries, allowing you to able to demand what you want and giving you the leverage to position yourself outside of the workplace. If you want to be seen by your peers as the expert, you must be willing to show up in the right spaces. You can’t grow alone and you can’t go very far by yourself. This is why joining professional organizations and associations are instrumental.
You can position yourself as an industry leader in the workplace when you decide this is what you want. It’s OK to be considered a leader and to grow in your industry. Don’t worry about what others are doing and saying. Stay focused on where you are going in your field and the rest will follow.
Priscilla Q. Williams is a Registered Nurse, Global Nurse Educator, Speaker, Author and Certified Overflow Coach. She helps women see their brilliance and live the life they truly desire. Learn more about Priscilla via her website at www.priscillaqwilliams.com and follow her on Twitter @p_williams1