Young women looking to build their dream careers need to go into the process with a plan.
“It’s never going to happen in a vacuum. You have to pursue your dream career strategically and with intention,” says Sallie Krawcheck, the CEO of women-led digital investing platform Ellevest on a new episode of MAKERS Money.
On the fifth episode of MAKERS Money, Krawcheck presents the fundamental questions that women need to ask themselves, including exploring their talents and building out their skillsets. She notes that it’s also essential for women to be in a strong financial position.
“[Ask] yourself, ‘Am I in a position of strength?’” says Krawcheck, “When you’re financially stable you just make better decisions. Example: you’ve got three to six months of your salary saved in that emergency fund, you’ve been listening to that a—h— boss of yours pitch your great ideas as if they were his own for months then you’ve got the freedom to decide. You are done with that bulls— and find a better team to work with.”
“As you get more senior, it’s not the performance that makes the difference”
On the show, she’s joined by Carla Harris, vice chairman of wealth management and senior client advisor at Morgan Stanley.
Harris’ best advice to young women is to invest in their relationship network.
“Too often we focus on the performance because we think the performance is the objective thing. You can’t debate the performance. But we have to invest in the relationships because, as you know, as you get more senior, it’s not the performance that makes the difference. It’s whether or not somebody knows you well enough to speak up for you behind closed doors for that critical assignment, that big bonus, running a department.”
A critical part of Harris’ success in the male-dominated world of Wall Street has been her ability to learn from mistakes.
“What was the lesson here? Why did the universe bring this issue to me and what was I supposed to learn? Get that and move on. Don’t create baggage. Because baggage is heavy and it will create a competitive disadvantage as you lug it around.”
One mistake that Harris made early in her career was asking to move into a different role without knowing what the position might be. When her boss agreed to her request and subsequently asked her what she’d like to do she didn’t have an answer.
“Right at that moment, I realized I had lost an opportunity. His job was to make it happen, not to help me figure it out.”
In other words, go in with a plan.
Krawcheck spent nearly 30 years on Wall Street, holding high-level positions including CEO of sell-side research firm Sanford Bernstein, CEO of Smith Barney, CFO of Citigroup, and president of global wealth and investment management at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Last month, feminist media brand MAKERS and Yahoo Finance launched “MAKERS Money,” a weekly show hosted by Krawcheck that features advice for women from top female financial experts.
(Editing by Julia La Roche)