WEST Wisdom Blog

Diving into Coaching & Mentoring

Posted by Courtney Cyron on May 14, 2024 10:31:16 AM

One of the pieces of feedback WEST has received lately is questions about becoming a better coach or mentor. WEST believes in the value of coaching and mentoring throughout one’s career and is thrilled to be hosting the upcoming event “Empowering YOU: How to Be a Great Coach or Mentor.” 

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Topics: Events, Leadership, Career, Mentoring, Coaching, Influence, Developing Your Skills, Challenges, Career Development, Mentor, #WESTevent

Changing the Narrative Around Introverts in the Workplace

Posted by Courtney Cyron on May 6, 2024 11:43:15 AM

In a society that often favors extroverted tendencies, being on the introverted end of the   spectrum can bring challenges in loud workplaces. Extroverted or introverted, we all have inspiration, passion, and great ideas within us. We work to create inclusive workplaces that support the success of each person on our team. With a few skills, being open-minded and truly aware of ourselves and those around us, we can create a team that allows each member to contribute their strengths and find success.

There are some misconceptions about introversion at work: that people who are more introverted can’t lead as effectively, are shy, and don’t like to work with others (are not team players). Despite these perspectives, introverted employees can absolutely excel in so many spaces using their strengths. The reality inside an introvert’s mind is thoughtful and methodical, tending to think deeply and critically about the work at hand. Like extraverts, introverts want their team to succeed, and may see the path to success differently. Their ability to truly immerse themselves in the information at hand, process their thoughts from many angles, and present suggestions and solutions that are well thought out is an incredible strength to any company. 

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Topics: Leadership, Community, Confidence, Challenges, Career Development, Empowerment, #WESTevent, Corporate Culture, Identity, Introvert

Develop Your Personal Brand to Manage a Career Built For You

Posted by Courtney Cyron on Apr 4, 2024 10:32:34 AM

Often we think of our career path as something that happens to us. We think in terms of doing what we can to prepare ourselves, but tend to think there’s only so much we can control. By thinking with such a scarcity mindset, we’re setting ourselves up for a career that we endure as long as we have to and then retire as soon as possible. The good news is: we don’t have to live like that. We can learn to create a personal brand and use that brand to market ourselves in a way that allows us to take charge of our careers and create a career path built for us. 

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Topics: Career, Communication, Resources, Influence, Career Path, Self-Awareness, Confidence, Personal Branding, Challenges, Career Development, Influence Without Authority, #WESTevent, Identity, Hiring Women in STEM

Mapping Your Career With Confidence

Posted by Courtney Cyron on Mar 5, 2024 6:32:35 PM

Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years? Better yet, do you know why you see yourself there or what it’s going to take to get there? While these are good questions to ask yourself, it leaves a few important details out. How do your strengths, interests, passions, motivations, and work-life balance goals fit into your career plans?

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Topics: Leadership, Career, Change, Career Path, Leading Ourselves, Self-Awareness, Career Development, Roadmap, Career Possibilities, New Opportunities, Self-Reflection, #WESTevent

Stop Wondering & Start Living Into Your Wonder

Posted by Courtney Cyron on Jan 10, 2024 2:51:43 PM

When we stop to set goals, especially around the new year, we typically start with a vision of who we want to become, what we want to do, or how we want to improve. Then we’re often left wondering how to achieve those goals. If you’re ready to move your goals out of the wondering stage and into the action stage, you won’t want to miss Judy Goldberg’s upcoming workshop: “Wake Up & Wondershift: A Journey to Personal Transformation.”

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Topics: Boston, Community, Inspiration, Career Path, Self-Awareness, Confidence, Personal Branding, Challenges, Career Development, Empowerment, Self-Reflection, #WESTevent, Purpose, Identity

Building More Than Just a Professional Network at WoW Events

Posted by Courtney Cyron on Aug 7, 2023 3:00:38 PM

About a year ago, WEST launched what has become one of our most popular series: WoW - WEST on Wednesdays Networking. These events are approximately once per month, with each event usually having a sponsor host in their company’s space. This constant moving of the event allows for a different atmosphere and new people to network with each time. The atmosphere, appetizers, and drinks are all great reasons to attend, but the real value lies within the community that gathers together for each event. “I love when corporations in the heart of the innovation hub here in Cambridge/Boston generously provide their locations. The inspirational surroundings help create a vibrant atmosphere that fosters both professional and personal conversations. Having been a WEST virtual mentor this past year, I particularly enjoyed meeting some of my mentees and fellow mentors at the events, helping to strengthen those relationships,” shares Jocelyn Dunphy, WEST Member. 

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Topics: STEM, Boston, Communication, Community, Networking, Relationships, Career Path, Career Development, New Opportunities, #WESTevent

Managing Up Doesn’t Have Be Scary

Posted by Courtney Cyron on Aug 1, 2023 2:48:00 PM

Telling your manager you need more resources or training can be awkward. You don’t want to undermine your working relationship or appear less than capable to do your job, but you know these tools will help support your success in your role. You know you need to speak with your manager about this, but how do you walk the fine line between confidently asking for support and appearing underprepared for the task at hand?

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Topics: Leadership, STEM, Career, Communication, Culture, Leader, Influence, Management, Lead, Developing Your Skills, Confidence, Strengths, Challenges, Career Development, Advice, STEM Leadership

You Have Set a Goal, Now What?

Posted by Courtney Cyron on Aug 1, 2023 8:00:00 AM

Setting goals can be exhilarating and daunting. While you definitely want to approach goal- setting with a healthy dose of what’s realistic for you, setting a goal that really challenges you will help you grow more than you could imagine. Imagine how life will be once you achieve your goal. As we talked about in the last goal-achieving blog post, will it be to become a pilot by 2025, or to earn a promotion at work? Regardless of what your goal is, achieving it should really excite you.

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Topics: Best Practices, Career, Mentoring, Success, Inspire, Networking, Inspiration, Developing Your Skills, Focus, Challenges, Career Development, Grow, goals

Setting Clear, Actionable Goals is The Most Important Part

Posted by Alissa Brown on Jul 20, 2023 3:41:06 PM

In conversation with Alicja Januszewicz on the importance of setting goals, how do we know we are setting the right goals and tips on how to achieve the outcome you want.

Phew, it is already mid-2023! A great time to check in on the progress of our goals! In many organizations, we set our goals and objectives at the start of a year. There are no rules that goals must start with the new year or that goals will not change or be adapted during the year. Working on your goals can be a journey throughout the year so don’t worry if you are unclear on your goals or unsure if they still feel right for you, now is a good time to reflect. 

The critical step is to define those goals, making sure they align with your core principles, are clear on what you want to achieve, by when, and who can support you in making your goals happen. This clarity will help you find the steps to get you there, to give you a roadmap. Many people use the SMART framework to map out their goals, I use SIMple. S for Specific, I for Important, and M for Measurable. Make sure you use some kind of framework!

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Topics: Career, Mentoring, Coaching, Inspiration, Leading Ourselves, Developing Your Skills, Challenges, Career Development, Mentor, goals

Giving & Receiving Feedback Can Be Awkward, But It Doesn’t Have to Be

Posted by Courtney Cyron on Jul 18, 2023 9:31:03 PM

A manager needs to be equipped with an arsenal of communication skills that cover everything from explaining the goals of a project, presenting progress updates, providing subject-matter training, and so much more. The most important communication skill is the ability to give and receive feedback. 

WEST’s first event in the Summertime Management Skills Series focused on the importance of a manager effectively delegating work to their team. This skill enables a manager to remove the tasks from their plate that are preventing them from focusing on their big-picture and strategic planning. Delegating also enables a team to feel engaged, challenged, and fulfilled in their work. However, it also creates the need for feedback communication. Once a manager has delegated a task, they then need to give and receive feedback from their team to ensure that their team understands the task, and has the resources they need to complete it. 

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Topics: Leadership, Communication, Leader, Professional, Management, Developing Your Skills, Career Development, STEM Leadership

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