By Raena Murakami, Public Relations and Communications Co-Director
One of FEW’s flagship events is the biennial FEW Career Strategies Seminar (CSS), a full-day professional development event led by experienced, successful female business leaders and mentors. The event consists of workshops and skill-building sessions to equip participants with the tools necessary to enhance their lives and careers in Japan. CSS goes back to 1990, when FEW began to organize a day presenting Career Opportunities.
As part of our History series, we’ve taken a look back at past CSS events, including ones featured in our 20th Anniversary newspaper, and have collected a few of the top insights from our expert presenters over the years. These tips give a new perspective on ways that we can maximize our unique potential, and enhance both our professional and personal lives.
Click here for more information on past CSS events, and here for future FEW and Women’s Start-Up Club events. And don’t miss our Dream, Girl screening, in collaboration with Mums in Business, featuring a panel of Tokyo-based women entrepreneurs on April 26th!
- Take the leap and answer yes
Many of us have thought about making the next step in our careers — whether it’s a promotion in our current work, a transition to a new field, or a completely new start as a business owner—but either don’t know where to start or talk ourselves out of taking the leap to follow our dreams.
As FEW Strategic Partner Sara Furuya said at our 2014 CSS, fight your self-doubt, which asks, “Who me?” and reframe it with “Hell yes!” One of the most important ways to rise to your full potential is to not hold yourself back from opportunities and instead to Lean In.
Think about what motivates you, your strengths, and how your strengths can be valuable assets to your next career move. There are no perfect plans or paths, but living your dream career all starts with taking the first step.
- Tell your story
As Helen Iwata, founder of Sasuga! Communications, said at our 2014 CSS, “Like it or not, we’re all in sales now.” Communicating your value, strengths, and ideas to others in a way that is engaging and keeps them interested is key when building a business.
Your story, vision, and goals are what drive you. It’s important not only to develop your story, but to hone your communication skills so that your story also resonates with others.
It’s said that it takes just one-tenth of a second for us to judge someone from a first impression, so we better make sure we’re putting out the right one, both personally and professionally, as described in Heike Geiling’s (Beyond Global Mindset and Cross-Cultural Competence) session at our 2016 CSS. Be confident and voice your ideas and mission — the impression you make will help you rise in your career.
- Manage your resources
The key to a successful career is managing your personal resources such as time, money, health, and relationships. It’s crucial to take care of yourself and do what you can to maintain a healthful balance in your life to help you be your best self for your clients.
We need to understand how to nurture ourselves physically, emotionally, and financially. The real world is unpredictable and complex, and to maintain our energy levels, we also need resilience, according to Tiziana Alamprese, Marketing Director, Fiat Chrysler Japan (2014 CSS).
These various elements in our lives are closely linked, and keeping the right balance will help keep your body, mind, and career healthy. Forming good habits is an investment that will help you now and in the future.
- Nurture your brand
What does a potential employer or customer see when they Google you or look at your meishi? It’s not only important to find and develop the right visual appearance for your business, but to present a consistent and authentic image, especially online, as Jennifer Shinkai of en world group explained at our 2016 CSS.
Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be, and who people perceive you to be. Ensure that your corporate identity is one that you’re passionate about and represents your needs, wishes, and ideas, according to Barbara Lang of atelierfünfdrei (2016 CSS).
Successful brands have personalities and get noticed— know what you want to achieve, who you want to target, and how you want to be seen. It will help tell your story even better.
- Create your own network
As members of the FEW community know well, having a supportive, sharing, diverse, and vibrant network can ignite our own careers as well as that of others. It all starts with developing relationships and maximizing your networking opportunities.
Our networks can give us the support and inspiration we need to jump-start our careers and provide us with valuable resources and connections to grow our businesses. Many stories from women at our CSS and Women’s Start-up Events include examples of how advice or references from networking helped launch their careers.
Once you’ve made new connections, it’s important to keep up the relationship and not let good contacts slip away. Whether you keep contact by sending a note on LinkedIn, meeting for coffee, or sending an article related to your conversations — you never know when that person may next reach out with a new career opportunity.
Q&A with Multiculturalism Experts Anjeli Narandran and Louise George Kittaka
Leading up to our upcoming monthly meeting on ‘Multiculturalism through Japan’s Eyes,’ we’re featuring a Q&A with two of our speakers, Anjeli Narandran, International Coordinator at Peace Boat, and Louise George Kittaka, a newspaper columnist, university lecturer and cross-cultural trainer featured in The Japan Times and Savvy Tokyo. The Q&A is modeled on the Proust Questionnaire, designed to reveal […]Published on 9th October 2017
September 2017 Women’s Start-up Club Recap: Share your Passion and Maintain it through Masterminding
26 attendees defied the rain to join The FEW Women’s Start-up Club‘s kick-off meeting of the 2017-2018 year on September 26, 2017. WSC’s goal is to provide resources, support and networking opportunities for women entrepreneurs and those who want to become entrepreneurs. We invite everyone to play an active role as WSC is a “business […]Published on 3rd October 2017
October Strategic Partner News
Check out the latest member offers and opportunities from our Strategic Partners here! Our Strategic Partners are committed to bringing the best services and products to FEW members. And go to our Strategic Partners page to learn more about all of FEW’s Strategic Partners, who not only support FEW’s activities but also provide professional and personal services […]Published on 3rd October 2017
October Community Services Feature: Tokyo Run for the Cure
By Tia Haygood, Community Services Director The Run for the Cure Foundation is a Tokyo based non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating breast cancer in Japan as a life-threatening disease through education, timely screening, and treatment. For over a decade, organizers at Run for the Cure have provided community outreach programs and education initiatives to increase […]Published on 3rd October 2017
How I Got Here: Nicola Vote
I first came to Japan over 20 years ago as a one year exchange student to ICU (International Christian University), courtesy of the University of London, my home university. Several of my friends were taking a year off to travel in Europe or USA. I wanted to go somewhere a little more challenging, and Japan […]Published on 2nd October 2017
Disruptive Innovation: Shifts in Technology
Join us on Nov. 9 as we hear from influential serial entrepreneur Emi Takemura on the disruptive innovations driving unprecedented technological and societal change and our roles in developing "technology fluency."
FEW Members Exclusive Wine Night
Join FEW for our twice-yearly members exclusive wine night, courtesy of Oakwood Premier Midtown. Come along, network and share your stories around a nice glass of wine!
Women's Start Up Club: Marketing with a Purpose
Do you run your own business or are you thinking of starting one? Join the FEW WSC on Nov. 29 to learn top insights into marketing your business.
November Midweek Lunch Mixer- Location To Be Announced
Take a break from work and join us for delicious food and great networking at our monthly midweek lunch gathering. Location to be announced soon!