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Lorraine Veber, Group Chief Customer Officer of Regus’ parent company IWG, says sharing ideas with a diverse group of peers is vital for evolving in business
As a professional, what does it mean to have a voice? And how do you know when you’ve found yours?
Lorraine Veber, the Group Chief Customer Officer of IWG – Regus’ parent company – believes it’s about knowing when to call upon you peers for guidance.
“To me, it’s about not being afraid to ask for help, knowing that making mistakes are the best way to learn and not waiting for everything to be perfect to move forward with a plan,” she says.
Veber recently participated in a customer experience panel with Women Connect as part of AA-ISP’s Digital Sales World in London, on finding your voice in business. She and the rest of the panel made up of senior customer-facing roles shared how they got to where they are in their careers through using their voice.
“A professional network was something everyone in the panel said was a ‘must-have’ in order to stay on track,” says Veber. “Trying to make all decisions by talking through it in your head will not get you to the right place.”
But what’s the best way to build a professional network from scratch? Veber suggests starting close to home.
“Begin with your circle of friends,” she says. “Ask them who they know professionally that wouldn’t mind a 15-minute call to be a soundboard for your ideas. You would be surprised how easy it is to get a handful of contacts quickly that way.
“Having people who you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts with – and who you know will share their thoughts without sugarcoating anything – is priceless.”
At the same time, it’s important to cast your net wide to create a comprehensive network of contacts in order to evolve as a professional. “I find that I get a lot of good ideas, strength and clarity speaking to people that are not only in a different industry than I am in, but also a different department,” says Veber.
After she spoke on the panel hosted by Women Connect, several delegates approached Veber to ask how she had progressed up the corporate ladder – and what advice she had for them.
“I told them that their biggest obstacle will be themselves,” she said. “We innately tend to put up barriers like: ‘my boss is holding me back’ or ‘what if they think my opinion is silly?’ We get stuck in our own heads sometimes and stop ourselves before we start something great.
“Work on what you believe in, be humble, ask for help and then jump! You will be surprised by your own built-in parachute.”
Discover more about how a flexible work environment can support female leaders and promote diverse teams here