One of the most important things you can do before having a baby is to get ahead at work. So we chatted with Lori Mihalich-Levin, a lawyer, mother, working-mom expert and creator of Mindful Return, about what you can do to set yourself up for success long before baby arrives.
Here are Lori’s top 3 tips for killing it at work before you get pregnant.
Build your reputation—and become a ‘go-to’ person
Build a reputation at work for the following 3 things:
- Quality work product
Every small task counts and needs to be done well to build a good personal brand.
2. Meeting deadlines
And when you can’t, communicate about them before you miss them.
3. A collaborative spirit
Focus on the shared commitments between you and your colleagues, not on things that bother you about them. Make it a rule to assume your colleagues all have positive intentions.
Get involved in your professional community, whether it’s with an industry association or a group that offers professional development opportunities.
When I was a “baby” health care lawyer, for example, I got involved with both the American Health Lawyers Association and the DC Bar Health Law Section.
Grow your network
I served an elected term on a steering committee for the DC Bar and became a known entity within the health law community.
Now that I have children, I don’t have time for that level of involvement, but I already have a professional reputation in the circles that matter to my career.
These associations and organizations can also be great places to find mentors.
Ask for feedback and make small tweaks
Nerve-wracking, I know. But so critical to knowing how others perceive you and discovering where you can grow.
Set up your own 360 reviews by asking everyone you work closely with to tell you three things they wish you did more of, and three areas they think you can focus on growing into.
Set aside a calm, private time for a conversation with them, and then take their feedback to heart. Identify specific places to put their feedback into practice.
You’ve got this.