What are your current career goals? Maybe you want to get a promotion, take the lead on a project, or branch out and start your own business. Whatever it is, we all need support to achieve our goals and find our purpose. That’s where allies come in.
It’s a great idea to find allies in your personal life, but they are especially important to have at work. A sense of belonging in the workplace is one of the most significant factors influencing our happiness and success, and allies can nurture that feeling of community. Having strong relationships with people who want to see you succeed can do amazing things for your career and overall well-being.
Possible allies can be found anywhere in the workplace, at any level, or in any position. And their allyship can manifest in a variety of ways, such as crediting your ideas or giving you advice. Your ally could be the coworker who isn’t afraid to support your suggestions in a big meeting. Or it could be your boss who listens to you and takes your thoughts seriously. If you’re struggling with your job, having just one person that stands by you can make a huge difference.
If you have trouble finding an ally, it’s time to become one. Try to imagine what you would want in an advocate, and personify that yourself. Take actions to support those around you, and you will find that they will return the favor. Partner up, and get somebody talking about you and your successes.
Self-promotion is crucial to success in business, but it can be hard, particularly for women. Your ally is someone who will do it with you. And when you amplify the voices of women in your life, encourage your male counterparts to do the same. Men are skilled at self-promotion, so pull them in and ask for their allyship. The ability and desire to advocate for others is within many of our male peers, once they know how to help.
Sharing your experiences with the men in your life is so important because they may not truly know the struggles that women face in business. They likely haven’t realized the extent of the microaggressions and inequality we come up against at every level because they haven’t experienced them firsthand. They have to know the problems we face so that we can do the work together.
So find an advocate, whether it’s a man, or a woman, or a partner. Pull them into this conversation, if you can. And if you can’t find an advocate, be an advocate for others, and you will find what you are looking for when your advocate comes into your life.