5 Tips That Will Bring Your Career to the Next Level From Nicole Williams

Navigating one’s career can be quite tricky so it always helps when you can turn to an expert for advice. Cue Nicole Williams, LinkedIn’s Career Expert, bestselling author of Girl on Top: Your Guide to Turning Dating Rules into Career Success and a mentor of many. At a recent dinner highlighting Microsoft’s new array of awesome tools to help you give the ultimate PowerPoint presentation (get more info here), Williams also shared some of her best career tips to keep you ahead of the game.

1) Be social.

With 70% of your life being spent at work, it is important to form meaningful relationships with colleagues that make your career more fulfilling. A LinkedIn study found that 46% of professionals worldwide believe work friends are important to their overall happiness. The study also found that one-third of millennials think socialising with colleagues helps them motive up the career ladder. You should recognise that a personal can be both a friend that helps you feel more connected and fulfilled but also a resource for career advancement. The two roles aren’t mutually exclusive.

2) Take responsibility for your career success!

You’ll likely have some supportive bosses, inspiring co-workers an motivating mentors along the way, but at the end of the day your career is yours and yours alone. While that can sound daunting it is incredibly liberating if you’re willing to challenge your mindset, step up and take the reins of your career.

3) Brand yourself. 

In this day and age, we aren’t employees…we’re brands. Figure out who you think you are and then apply it to everything from your email signature to your Instagram page. Online branding is an opportunity for millennials to present themselves in the best light. Use your online presence to showcase your best attributes and help tell the story of your career. You are in control of how your bosses, clients and co-workers view you online and off. Don’t miss out on this opportunity.

4) Presentation matters. 

For millennials, having a more polished image will only make you visible, but it also lets employers know that you are serious about representing their company in the most professional way. You have around 2.2 seconds to make a first impressions with your colleagues – and more beautiful visuals can help. Microsoft’s new design tools in PowerPoint give even the most design-challenged person the skills to create something boardroom-ready with less time and effort. Pop in an image and PowerPoint Designer gives you several design ideas created by graphic designers. This way you get the best of both worlds, looks that matter and substance that sticks.

5) Pay attention to detail. 

And here is another great tip Williams shared. When you go into someone’s office, whether it is for an interview or just a meeting, look around and pay attention to what is on their desk and shelves. Ask them a question about it. That is why they put it out there. Williams had a meeting with a film producer and she asked about the Oscar nomination card he had on his desk and he was delighter to talk about it and said she was one of the only people that ever asked about it. Let’s just say, the meeting went quite well after that.

Meredith Lepore

Meredith is the former editor in chief of the women's career site, The Grindstone. Her work has appeared in Marie Claire @ Work, The Jane Dough, DailyWorth, SheKnows.com, Business Insider and Learnvest. She earned her Masters in Magazine, Newspaper and Online journalism from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Meredith resides in New York full time and enjoys reading, jogging, SoulCycle and playing with her small dog, Otis.