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How To Be A Leader Even If You Don’t Have A Title (Yet)

Written by: Snježana “Ana” Billian, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

If your goal is to move up in your career, the fastest way to the C-suite is to start showing up as a leader, even if you don’t have a leadership title—yet.


I talked to Aaditya Jain, a Global Strategy & Innovation student at ESMT Berlin and an intern at Wayfair, about his approach to leadership at work. Aaditya is a great example of how Generation Z is shaping the future of work by recognizing that before you lead others, you first need to lead yourself.

Here are his top four tips on how to show leadership at work, even if you don’t have a leadership title:


1. Invest the time to get to know yourself.


“One of the most powerful things I was told by one of my professors back during my undergrad is: We have all the resources within us. This statement inspired me to embark on a journey of self-discovery and to be more observant of how I respond to or deal with situations,” Aaditya explains.


“There are always a few things that do not work in our favor. I believe that being self-aware gives you a fair idea of your strengths and weaknesses, and this gives you an opportunity to capitalize on both aspects and create as much value as possible no matter the situation.”


2. Build your career brand.


Aaditya is also aware of the huge benefit of the internet: You don’t need a title to share your views and opinions with the world. He regularly shares his experience from work and the lessons he learned on leadership in tech.


“To me, it is so fascinating that LinkedIn allows me to meet people who I aspire to be one day. I realized this when I had my first virtual coffee with a professional sitting in Berlin while I was still in India. I learned so much about career and life from him.


“That was the moment when I decided to engage more online. There’s a powerful saying that states: Your network is your net worth.


By sharing my knowledge and experiences about leadership in tech online, it makes it easier for me to reach out to like-minded people and create a shared value.”


3. Be proactive and ask for support.


Research shows that 70% of young professionals feel lonely in the workplace, mostly because they lack a support network, while also feeling stressed about not living up to the expectations of their team.


If that’s you, you may feel tempted to hide who you are and to pretend you have everything under control. But there’s a better way to deal with high pressure at work.


“Communicate,” Aaditya says. “No matter what the situation is, always involve your manager or mentor at work. This creates an opportunity to re-prioritize the tasks and projects you are working on so you know you’re on the right track. I’ve learned that asking for help is a strength, not a weakness.”


4. Become comfortable with the uncomfortable.


“I know that growth requires change, and change, in turn, requires discomfort. Moving from India to Germany was a huge step for me, and a very uncomfortable one. It is for most of us who decide to leave our homes to pursue better opportunities.


“But the even greater challenge for me was: How do I make the most out of it?” Aaditya says. “Leaving your home to pursue professional opportunities comes with the pressure to make it in your career. It took me a lot of self-reflection to define what that success means to me: Living my values while continuously growing and inspiring human leadership at work.”


Connect with Aaditya on LinkedIn.


For more information, visit my website and connect with me on LinkedIn and Instagram.


 

Snjezana Ana Billian, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Snježana Ana Billian is a career coach and the founder of Workmazing, an online career platform for people looking to create a meaningful career.

Workmazing's vlog and online summits are devoted to sharing thought-provoking interviews with authorities in the field of career, leadership, and happiness at work.

Ana is the co-author of the bestseller "Inspired By The Passion Test – The 1 Tool For Discovering Your Passion And Purpose."

She was featured in Business Insider, Thrive Global, Brainz Magazine, and other media outlets.

In the past decade, Ana has led numerous human resources programs for large-sized multinational corporations, helping executives and high-potential professionals step into more prominent roles.

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