The power of being different and other top career tips

As we learned on the latest episode of Live.Life.Beter., entrepreneur Edwina Dunn had planned on retiring before switching gears and writing her book The Female Lead, for which sixty successful women were interviewed about their careers - each offering up advice on how to excel in the workplace.

Here we digest seven of Edwina’s top talking points from the episode, which focused on women taking the lead.

1. Fight for the change you want.

For both women and men, it’s crucial that you advocate for and act on what is important to you.

 "If you don’t do anything, things aren’t alright. Things don’t mend themselves - you’ve got to get involved," explains Edwina.

2. It’s okay to make mistakes.

In pursuing lofty goals, failure is a constant and pressing fear. However, it’s a natural part of the process and is nothing you should be afraid of.

"Getting started is messy. You make mistakes, you turn the wrong corner, you get up, you start again. It’s uncomfortable, but you keep going."

3. Avoid self-doubt.

You may never know exactly what to expect from a new or risky venture, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be confident in your abilities.

"We have to believe in ourselves. We have to actually believe, we can transition, we can learn, we can apply ourselves, and we can do it."

4. Feed your passions.

The quickest route to burnout is doing work that you hate. Doing what you love can make you more productive and make your work better in the long run.

"Don’t do what someone else told you to do because you should. Follow your heart, your passion, because you’re going to last longer, you’re going to put more effort in, because you love it."

5. Stay curious.

Don’t be afraid of taking unconventional paths or experimenting with new ways of doing. Curiosity can make your old job feel brand new and can open the door to new opportunities.

"You have to keep learning, you have to keep moving, so that kind of curiosity will allow you to continue your career."

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6. Use your network.

Surround yourself with like-minded people who can push you to be your best, and don’t be afraid to reach out.

"You need people who make you feel better - we all need that kind of support, and asking for help is a good thing, not a sign of weakness."

7. Be different.

Standing out can be scary, but it’s the best way to be noticed.

"Daring to be different, celebrating what makes us stand out, is probably something that’s going to signal our opportunity, to fly, to be successful in the future."

What else you can hear on this episode:

  • Melanie Eusebe, the executive producer of the Women Of The World Festival.
  • Harriet Harman, the country’s longest serving female MP.

Head over to iTunes to subscribe or browse through our past episodes here.

This is a guest blog and may not represent the views of Virgin.com. Please see virgin.com/terms for more details. Thumbnail from gettyimages.

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