Ten ways to help your career succeed

From the ground floor to the boardroom, it's normal in your career - and smart - to always have one eye on the next step. But many feel they are poorly prepared to make a move or are reluctant to take a risk and move outside their comfort zone.

" Where do you want to get to? What do you enjoy? How do you see yourself? Where do others see you?"
Emma Davine, Executive Director, Capabilities & Client Solutions, Global Transaction Banking, ANZ

My career has taken some interesting turns; from accounting and finance roles in Melbourne, London and San Francisco, to chief of staff to a former ANZ CEO and into global transaction banking roles based in Singapore and Hong Kong.

I am a long way from where I started out, both geographically and capability wise. The one constant in all of this is I have ignored any trepidation about making lateral moves or taking a risk and I have forced myself to embrace the unexpected.

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Below are ten tips you can use to make your way in your career - they've worked for me and I think they can for you too.


Take time to reflect on where you see yourself in five to 10 years and what you are good at. Where do you want to get to? What is your ideal role? What do you enjoy? How do you see yourself? Where do others see you?

Once you know where you want to get to, develop an actionable plan of how you are going to get there. Here you may find it worthwhile talking to a mentor, coach or someone you trust and knows you well (maybe a partner, friend or family member?).

Think about what gaps you might have in your capability you need to fill in order to reach your goal. What are they? Are there roles, training programs, development opportunities or experiences you can take on to build this capability?


There is no point in having an end game or vision if you don't tell people about it. You are more likely to succeed in your journey if you let your supporters in on your travel plans.

As a mentor and manager myself, I can provide the most value to my mentees and team if I know where they want to go. If I know where they aspire to be then I can help them construct plans to get there.

Don't just look to support at work. Strive to surround yourself with good people in your life who can support you, prop you up when you need it and cheer you on.


My network building began back in my early career. It is now very much a part of what I do day to day and I invest time in it.

Make time to build and nurture your relationships – both inside and outside of work. Don't make excuses. Invest the time and make a commitment to making it happen. The more you do this, the easier it gets.

The more people you are connected with and want to engage with you, the more successful and effective you will be.

If you are really interested in a particular area of work, talk to people already in the area and get an understanding of what they do. Most opportunities come about via someone you already know. So get yourself out there and increase your circle of influence and your network!


The best piece of advice I can give you is to be good at what you do and to nail the role you are in. The better you perform in a role, the more likely the people around you will help you and those opportunities will come.

Make sure you are not so distracted by the next job move - you may fail to do a good job in your current role. Be present, engaged and deliver what you say you will deliver.

Don't be in too much of a hurry. You don't want to miss your learning and development opportunity.


Most successful people have a sponsor or sponsors. I do and would not have been able to make the moves I have made without them.

Your sponsor might be your boss, a former boss or a skip line manager. It might also be someone has observed your performance and thinks well of you. So how do you find a sponsor?

Ultimately the best way to do this is through your network and by being good at what you do. If you are people will talk about it.

You want to be in a position where you have people in your corner advocating and (vocally) supporting you when you need it. I've seen many careers stall as a result of losing an important sponsor. The more you have the better!


Not every move needs to be a step up or a tick the box. Have an open mind and embrace opportunities that will provide you with new capabilities and experiences.

Think about sideways moves. Say yes to roles that give you the critical experience you need. I did exactly that when I moved to Singapore into a role that was a stepping stone to my roles in Hong Kong.

Don't overanalyse every move. Trust your gut instinct. It's okay if you get it wrong. If you do, pick yourself up and set yourself right.


Ask questions and learn as much as you can. Broaden your experience and be honest to yourself about those areas where you still have something to learn. Enjoy the learning and open your eyes to new experiences.

Take up roles in different businesses, countries and disciplines. The more you see, the broader your view will become and the more refined your lens.

I know by doing this my experience has become all the richer. It has also helped me better understand the markets I am operating in and the impact of my decisions.


Think about doing something outside of your day job. Apart from broadening your perspective, you will also deal with others whom you might not otherwise come across. Exposure beyond your normal circle is a good thing.

From a presence perspective, it's essential to carry yourself with confidence. When you walk into a room, do others take note? What do people see?

This is about more than what you wear. Use your body language to help you. Be confident and as much as you feel you can, try to 'own' the space.


Be good to the people around you. If you are good to the people around you, it will be remembered and people will treat you in the same way.

For me, it's about being open and transparent in my dealings with other people. Trust is critical and when broken is difficult to repair.


No matter how good you are at your job, you are not going to perform at your best unless you manage your life outside of work and have some fun.

Take time for you – whether this be spending time with your family, friends, hiking, reading a good book, going dancing, getting a massage, meditating, yoga, travelling, you name it!

Make sure you are also having fun at work and enjoy the people around you. You'll find when it all comes together at the right time, magic can happen.

It all sounds very easy doesn't it? I look forward to hearing about your success!

Emma Davine is Head of Government & Commercialisation, Transaction Banking.

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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