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Laura Phelps-Naqvi

Laura Phelps-Naqvi



Cheshire Office
Tel: +44 1625 508100


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Managing Your Career

Developing leadership potential is a core area of Wickland Westcott’s expertise. Increasingly when clients approach us to support them develop their leaders of the future they are looking for assistance in helping their talented leaders to take control of their own careers. Whether this happens through development centres, leadership development workshops, career transitioning services or 1-2-1 coaching, the same question arises: How can our people manage their careers more effectively?

Having been approached by Pro Manchester (the professional services network) to host a session on this topic, consultants from Wickland Westcott’s Talent, Career, Executive Search teams recently ran an interactive workshop to address this area. Drawing on our own experience and combining this with input from a range of senior stakeholders from leading organisations, a series of recommendations were emphasised during the workshop. Key advice for those keen to progress included:

  • Develop your leadership skills, technical expertise is almost a given.
  • Work out what it is you want to be famous for - capitalise on what you enjoy and are good at.
  • Broaden your profile widely across your organisation.
  • Develop your commercial understanding – e.g. financial awareness.
  • Broaden your awareness of your organisation outside of your own area.
  • Personal accountability is key - it is your career, it is up to you to drive it forward.

In addition to the above recommendations, our experience in developing leaders within legal and financial services firms also shows that those who want to progress neglect developing their business development skills at their peril. Delegates at the workshop confirmed our belief that those aspiring to Partnership give business development the time it needs throughout their career. With such findings in mind the following five practical tips were also presented during the session to help participants to manage their careers more effectively:

  1. Work out what it is you want from your career and why.
  2. Take control – understand the options available to you and capitalise on them.
  3. Know your strengths and development areas – this can help you to leverage the value you can add to existing and future roles.
  4. Recognise the importance of feedback, and use it.
  5. Develop a meaningful development plan – this will help you to structure what you want to do and by when.

Participants with aspirations to progress were also advised to follow three ‘golden rules’ for continued career progression. Whilst emphasising that there is no guaranteed formula for success, those leaders (or potential leaders) with a desire to develop their careers were advised to:

  • Be honest with yourself – take time to reflect on what you think you are good/less good at and gather feedback from those around you. Recognise that progression to senior levels means making personal sacrifices and ask yourself whether the rewards are worth the investment required.
  • Stay flexible to different opportunities - e.g. sideways moves which help you to broaden your business/commercial understanding.
  • Continually develop your self awareness – it is important for you to know your own impact on others and what it is that motivates and energises you at work.

Wickland Westcott would like to thank Pro Manchester for coordinating the event, Alison Loveday (Managing Partner, at Berg Solicitors) for her support and participation, and all those who contributed in the research.

Due to extensive interest following the event, Wickland Westcott have now developed a half day workshop on ‘managing your career’, for more information on the subject or workshop, please contact Laura Phelps-Naqvi.

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