Women's History Month: Forge Your Own Path

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By Maria Huggins - March 14, 2019

Whether you're just starting your career or an established professional, most of us still have room to progress in our career path. Beyond earning a degree and finding a job, what can women do to make that happen? What can we do to stand out from the crowd and advance?

We spoke with six female executives at American Century Investments® in honor of Women's History Month to ask them each the same question: What is the best career advice you've ever received? Below are their answers.

Have a Goal

Have a goal, and make sure every job you get is a job that adds value. It should help you achieve the ultimate goal of what you want to be. And with that, don't measure the sacrifices. I actually worked several months for free after I took time off to have a child. I did what I needed to do in order to show that I was up to speed on what was going on in markets and companies and investments. I think it's important to have a goal and then focus on it and work really hard to get there.

Patricia Ribeiro
Patricia Ribeiro
SVP, Sr. Portfolio Manager

Take Something Off Your Boss's Plate

One of the best pieces of advice I was given, and pass on, is to take something off of your boss's plate. First, you're helping your leader. Second, those items help train you for the next step up in your career. It's simple advice that gives you some great perspective on the position above and helps the team move forward.

Krisha Newham
Krisha Newham
VP Client Marketing

Know Yourself, Your Worth and Your Impact on Others

There are several things that stand out. One is to be your authentic self and not try to fit into any mold others may have for you. Another is to trust your instincts. When I've second guessed my gut, I've usually come out on the losing side. Another good piece of advice for me that I have come to embrace is to know your worth. Understand your strengths and where you can be stronger and make the adjustment. You can't let someone else dictate your worth.

But, the best life advice I've gotten came from my great-grandmother, which I have also used in my career. She said to treat people how you want to be treated.

Tanya Sargeon
Tanya Sargeon
VP Business Re-Engineering

Be the Expert

Pick an area and become an expert in it. Choose something within your field and learn it—inside and out—so you become the "go-to" person on that topic. Your area of expertise will likely change over time, but the value in making yourself irreplaceable will stay with you throughout your career.

Janet Nash
Janet Nash
SVP, Deputy General Counsel

Speak Up

The best career advice I received was to "speak up." We women tend to hold back, assuming our answer is not fully baked. However, in working with markets, there are too many variables and there is no perfect answer. We must assimilate all data, analyze them deeply, make educated decisions and be willing to fail, learn from failures and still come back ready to do the same every day.

In a professional environment, come prepared and advocate for yourself—highlight your skills and your willingness to take on additional responsibilities, and add value to your team.

Prabha Ram
Prabha Ram
Portfolio Manager

Bring Solutions

The advice I tend to most often apply is "Don't bring problems; bring solutions." This keeps me focused on the positive—finding better and more effective ways to accomplish goals. I find it empowering because it puts the accountability on me for solving issues and affecting change.

Amy Kozup
Amy Kozup
VP Client Marketing
Maria Huggins
Maria Huggins
Communications Program Manager
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The opinions expressed are those of American Century Investments (or the portfolio manager) and are no guarantee of the future performance of any American Century Investments' portfolio. This material has been prepared for educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, investment, accounting, legal or tax advice.