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AIM Group a tale of career success

The face of the PCO has historically been more female than male. This strong feminine presence says a lot about women’s sensibility, their outstanding people skills and ability to steward events.  Within AIM Group International the workforce is not only predominantly female (slightly less than 82%) but women are also found in high profile positions such as Country Manager, or Managing Director.

Patrizia Semprebene Buongiorno, Vice-President of AIM Group International had the opportunity to attend a panel during this year’s IMEX on Women's Leadership with the American Society Association Executives (ASAE). It was a moment of revelation for her and she systemized some points of reference for aspiring female professionals to consider as a fairy tale career is not built in a day or done without a plan.

Though the working world continues to move towards equality, balancing that work with family and a social life can be more difficult for women than men. Studies confirm that women want flexibility in their jobs and career options. Patrizia points out: “I always strongly encourage women to strive for a healthy balance between work and personal life”. Another point to reflect on is the need to choose with care an industry that allows professional and personal growth. The time consumed by a career, and the energy required can be offset by passion for what one does. Success is ensured when one is comfortable with the expectations and commitments before stepping in. It is important to take the time to define clear career hopes and goals.

Patrizia also stresses the need to ‘develop focus’. A professional exhibits their focus to top leaders through proactive and constructive actions. This can best be done when being guided by a mentor. Usually more women than men recognise the contribution mentors have made in their careers.

Even with the help of a mentor, the best laid plans may not turn out as expected. Many opportunities can be hidden just outside one’s comfort zone and this is Patrizia’s next point. Taking risks can teach us how to take control and helps build confidence. In order to grow to top leadership levels one needs first to feel good in one’s own skin. This comes from valuing the skills we possess and also of those that work with us. A key step towards leadership is being able to share work with others and trusting in their skills. It is amazing but true — you gain power when you give it away.

Last but not least Patrizia says: “Never stop being hungry to learn! Learning is a life-long process”. Develop a strategic plan to cater for your career process, identifying skills to build along the way. It is vital to articulate career goals early and invest time in building the right networks both inside and outside of the organisation. Learning should be guided by managing expectations through the recognition of one’s own limitations and focusing on what’s feasible to achieve. Embracing mistakes and learning from them should not be underestimated.

Patrizia's final advice for those women who aspire to be future leaders is to remember that success is dedication, enthusiasm, self-confidence, and the ability to adapt to the organization’s vision and goals.

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