In March, Women’s History Month in the U.S. and International Women’s Day (March 8) celebrates women’s past, present, and future. At Western Union, we recognize the importance of supporting the growth of our employees, both personally and professionally. And with internal career mobility up by 20% globally, according to recent LinkedIn® data, we must continue to look for ways to support our aspiring female colleagues in developing their careers.
Recently, women from our Talent Acquisition and Talent & Learning teams led a workshop for over 150 women across the organization through our internal women’s network, “Women@WU,” sharing best practices for developing a career path internally. We wanted to take the opportunity to share some of the takeaways from the workshop with our broader audience.
Preparing to move your career forward
First, ask yourself—what does career mean to you? It might mean something different now than it did a year ago or will in two years from now. Is it about status and recognition, expanding and deepening your expertise, or making an impact? Or maybe you are still exploring your career options? Whatever it may be, ground it in your purpose that drives your willingness to grow. Once that is established, discover and apply your company’s internal programs and tools to help you set and enable short- and long-term goals towards your desired growth scenario.
Giedre Naujokaityte—Talent Consultant for EMEA & APAC, based in Lithuania—asks, does your company have a structured performance review and development planning process? Are there mentoring or sponsorship programs available? Can you employ 360 reviews and strengths assessments to uncover your “superpowers” and development areas? Are there online learning platforms free for employees to explore new skills development?
Going for that next opportunity
Sharon Harris, Talent Acquisition Manager for EMEA & APAC, offers helpful guidance on interviewing within a current company.
- Be brave – don’t sell yourself short or disqualify yourself from applying.
- Use your network – look for allies within the company who can give you feedback, make introductions, and help you navigate internal opportunities.
- Prepare – This is YOUR career and a chance to shine. Even if you know the team or the manager, always prepare for the interview.
- Understand the details – Maybe the role has you considering a move abroad. Get clarity on any relocation or visa requirements. Your recruiter is there to help you navigate all the nuances of the interview process.
How do you make the most of a job interview?
Laura Callaghan, Global Talent Acquisition Leader for EMEA & APAC, suggests that you should feel empowered during your interview with the hiring manager to ask for their career development practices or advice on focus areas for your job function. Some companies will share feedback after the interview, so don’t be afraid to ask for it. If you can stay in touch with the hiring managers you meet—even if you’re not successful initially—it helps to ‘keep the door open’!
Recognizing the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion
Yolanda Larkin, Global Talent Acquisition DEI Manager, reminds us of the importance of getting involved with or by being an ally of your company Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), getting engaged in mentor and sponsorship opportunities, and the power of learning from the DEI training available.
Western Union has committed to ensuring that we have diverse interview slates—meaning that diverse genders and races are included in the list of candidates presented to hiring managers. We also ensure that our hiring teams comprise diverse interviewers with different backgrounds and perspectives. Our recruiters discuss the importance of diversity throughout the hiring process, reminding hiring managers it is critical to keep an open mind while you recruit. We also broaden our talent pools with more diverse candidates by offering part-time, job share, and flexible working opportunities and being less strict with some of our requirements. What are your hiring practices? Do they help support diverse candidates’ attraction and create a culture of inclusivity and equity?
You are the leader of your own life, and now is the time to take charge of your career as well as look for ways to support the women in your network in their development! And, if you’re looking to join a company that supports women no matter the level or title, learn more about what life is like at Western Union and explore our current career opportunities.