Focusing on career objectives and planning for the future may seem like an impossible task during the current health emergency but, as was made clear on day four of the Be Inspired virtual conference, it can be done

In the coronavirus-influenced retail world, many of us may have put our career goals on pause while we manage through the crisis – after all, we aren’t superhuman and can’t do everything.

Bianca Miller-Cole

Bianca Miller-Cole

However, as serial entrepreneur Bianca Miller-Cole emphasised at RWRC’s Be Inspired virtual conference, we can, and should, still have “big hairy audacious goals, even now”.

Miller-Cole appeared on The Apprentice in 2014 and came second in the series but she is far more than a TV appearance.

Her hosiery brand Bianca Miller London has redefined the concept of ‘nude’, catering for all skin tones and her organisation The Be Group provides career coaching and training for people looking to take the next step on the ladder. Featured in Forbes’ prestigious 30 Under 30, Miller-Cole is also co-author of the bestselling book Self-Made and is currently writing another book to be published in 2021.

Speaking at the conference, Miller-Cole explained that while her journey to the top hasn’t been easy, having clear business objectives and being able to identify her vision for the future have played a crucial role in her career trajectory.

Here are the steps Miller-Cole highlighted as being key to setting and achieving your career goals, no matter how senior or junior you are.

Build a personal brand

“There’s a great quote from [marketer] Guy Kawasaki who said: ‘Brands are built on what people are saying about them— not on what companies are saying about themselves.’ This is the case at an individual level too: how do you market yourself to gain the credibility you desire? Your personal brand is about how you look, what you sound like, your rational appeal – what skills and talents you have – and your emotional appeal.

“You are responsible for your personal brand and people need to understand what you do and why you do it. People buy from people and personal branding means asking yourself what you know, what you want to be known for and who you want to be known by.”

Seek out problems

“You should be thinking about your business from all different perspectives and looking to find the problems. Think like an entrepreneur, think like a customer, think like a leader and think like a team member.”

Be clear about your vision

“You need to have a clear idea of what success looks like for you. Consider this quote from [American poet] Bill Copeland who said: ‘The trouble with not having a goal is that you spend your entire life running up and down the field but you never score’. Once you’ve established these, you should then follow these 10 steps to make your goals a reality:

  •  “Buy a notepad, no I’m not trying to help retailers with stationery sales! But this comes on to my second point…”

  • “Write down your goals. It helps provide more clarity; only 3% of adults write down their goals but studies show goals are more likely to be achieved when they’ve been written down. Really think about and decide what you want.”

  • “Create three major goal headlines – these are three things that you would like to achieve in your life that would make a big difference to you and are areas that you can change.”

  • “Focus on 10 smaller things you could do to help you achieve those three major goals.”

  • “Identify obstacles that you’ll need to overcome to achieve those goals. Do you need to gain certain knowledge or skills, do you need certain people around you, mentors, etc?”

  • “Decide how and when you’re going to make this happen. You need to undertake research, understand the depth of your dream and your priorities, and set a deadline for when you’re going to achieve it.”

  • “Visualise your goals – people seem to automatically think about making a vision board when we say this but what I’m actually talking about here is going out there and feeling it and seeing what achieving that goal would be like. From a personal perspective, my husband and I wrote our goals down in the past and one of the goals we shared was that we wanted to buy a house, so we worked on that and went to visit different houses to understand what we wanted and to make the dream more tangible.”

  • “Take that first step – I’m really good at writing to-do lists and I know it can feel really good to tick off those little tasks that are easy to do that make you feel good about yourself. However, you need to tackle the hardest thing first as that is likely to have the most tangible impact. There’s a great book called Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy that talks about doing the hardest thing first.”

  • “Find a trusted person to share that vision and dream with that will hold you accountable.”

  • “Start now. Have ambition, passion, determination, the right attitude and focus on your network – your network is your net worth.”

“If you weren’t afraid, what could you do today?”

RWRC’s Be Inspired programme began in 2016 with the goal of promoting diversity at all levels of retail and to encourage everyone, whoever they are and whatever their background, to fulfil their career aspirations.

Find out more about Be Inspired and gain access to more content like this here