The things that you do today, personally and professionally, can set you up for success tomorrow. Whether it’s developing new skills or building a strong network, certain skills and habits can catapult you to mid-career success. With the right tools, women who are in their early careers can strategically set themselves up for a worthwhile career in the future. 

Women often feel pressure to reach immediate success in their given careers. It’s important to lay the groundwork for long-term advancement. 

Janice Sutherland, CEO and founder of This Woman Can, spoke with 21Ninety about her suggestions for women trying to reach mid-career success.

Become Self-Aware

Sutherland encourages women develop self-awareness and understand what they bring to the table. This includes understanding their values, interests and strengths. She advises they understand the environment that they thrive in and the problems they’re passionate about. 

Develop a Growth Mindset

Early in your career, it’s important to have a mentality that focuses on learning and growing. Believe that your skills and knowledge can grow over time. 

“Continuous learning and growth are more important,” Sutherland told 21Ninety. “Embrace challenges as opportunities to develop new skills and refine your approach.”

Network Strategically 

Sutherland encourages women to connect with people in your target field and build relationships. She advises them to attend industry events, conferences and online forums related to your areas of interest. 

Build Your Skillset

A part of building your skill set is identifying job skills that are in-demand. Research your target field and identify the skills and experience employers are looking for in the job market.

“If you want to develop a particular skill set, [then] be prepared to bet on yourself,” Sutherland said. 

While building new skills, Sutherland also encourages women to focus on their transferable skills. 

“Don’t underestimate the value of your existing skills and experience,” she said. “Communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and time management are valuable assets in any field.” 

Seek Out New Challenges 

New experiences add to your skillset and demonstrate initiative. Sutherland encourages women early in their careers to seek new opportunities outside their comfort zone. Volunteer for projects or ask for challenging assignments at your current job. 

“Your 20s and 30s are for exploration,” Sutherland said. “This is a prime time to try new things, take on different roles, and discover your passions.” 

Celebrate Your Achievements 

Acknowledge and take pride in your accomplishments, big and small. Sutherland suggests creating an “Hooray File,” where you keep track of your achievements, awards, and positive feedback in your current role. This will be helpful when crafting your resume and highlighting your skills for future opportunities.

“Keeping a record of your wins will also boost your confidence when you face new challenges,” she said.

Find a Mentor

Having a mentor who can offer guidance and support can be invaluable. Sutherland suggests for women early in their career to look for someone in their field who they admire and can learn from.