Monday, June 8, 2009

Ask the Experts...Career Advice from Myra Cardona, Director of HR at New York & Company


I was able to hear Myra Cardona speak on tonight’s Young Savvy Power call and she was A-MAZ-ING! Myra Cardona is the Director of Human Resources for New York & Company and she shared her top tips for making yourself an invaluable asset to your company. Just as a bit of background info, Myra is responsible for various aspects of human resource management including leadership development, team building, succession planning, and talent management. Myra also oversees ethics and compliance initiatives for New York & Company.

Here’s Myra advice for staying competitive in the fashion and retail industry...

Realize your stakeholders:
“Identify in your company who are the key stakeholders. These are the people who have a little bit of your best interest at heart. It can be your boss, your boss’s boss, or the people you want to make sure that you become visible to and hold a conversation with. Stakeholders don’t have to be the people with the big titles. These are just people who make things happen. Knowing these people will help you understand what’s the best way to manage your career.”

Move around: “Collaborating with a lot of other people in other departments will help you get ahead. Always be willing to step outside of your particular work area and learn how to handle partnerships outside of your department. This will help you create more stakeholders who can speak about your talent and your ability. Really think about what’s happening in your department that may impact other areas of the company. Take on an outside assignment. These are all important things because they are going to help you gain visibility with your higher-ups so that they notice you. You may even acquire a new skill or a new stakeholder that will help you gain value to your organization.”

Go the extra mile:
“Don’t just execute your job. You want to take it above and beyond. This is a philosophy I always talk about and coach about. When you are collaborating with other team members, it’s about taking what you know, doing it, and stretching it by approaching every single task from a problem solving perspective. Be solution oriented. Always be solution driven, especially in these economic times. All companies are operating lean and mean. You want to be able to take advantage of that so you are viewed as the resourceful person who can make it happen. At the end of the day this will attract the attention of senior leaders.”

If you screw up, own up: “If you are working on something and it didn’t go right, I know it’s not easy, but I recommend going to your boss and saying ‘I think I need to bring something to your attention.’ If you bring it to the table upfront and are accountable for it, you are earning respect from your peers as someone who is accountable for their actions. It is of the utmost importance to have accountability. We are all human. It’s okay to own up to your mistakes. But if you mention to your boss that you missed a detail, you should also have a solution.”

Coach Dee Marshall and Myra also shared a few great books to learn more about soft-skills and raising the bar in our careers. Stay tuned-I'm getting in touch with my team and will post them tomorrow. Thank you so much Myra for the great advice!

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