Be the boss.
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Don’t be embarrassed to make your intentions clear. As empowerment coach and speaker Jodie Rogers tells BuzzFeed Life:
"Don’t assume that your bosses know your intentions. Be very clear about what you want and make sure you have a date set for when you want to achieve it by, e.g. 'I want to be promoted by September 2015.'
"Then the next important step is to ask your boss, 'What do you believe I need to do or achieve in order to make this happen?' By doing this you are both stating your ambition and allowing them to set the measurement. If you’ve achieved everything by that date it will be much harder for a boss to move the goalposts."
Changing your stance is another way of faking confidence. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy explains in a TED talk how "power poses" can affect testosterone and cortisol in the brain as well as influencing people's perceptions of you.
She conducted studies in which subjects were made to adopt powerful poses – such as placing their hands on their hips – before stressful or difficult situations and found they coped much better. So next time you have that big meeting, take two minutes, hide in the toilet, and pose like you mean it.
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Coffee dates are a great way of sounding out careers. If you've done your research and there's a person you admire or whose job you want to find out more about, don’t be shy ask them if they want to meet up over a coffee. Most people will be flattered by your initiative and happy to share any pearls of wisdom or answer any questions.
There's a number of networking schemes in the UK that make it easy to connect, from Women in Business to the Athena Network (also for women) and the London Chamber as well as nationwide sites like Find Networking Events. It should be easy to find the perfect networking event for you to meet like-minded people.