Climb Your Career Ladder

Rise up the career rungs with top tips from the women who’ve already sussed the steps
Wednesday , 19 October 2011
Climb Your Career Ladder
Career Ladder

The step: Launching a business

“My advice would be to study your location and the amount of space you need for your business. If you’re just beginning, I would advise opening a small space and expand when you’re ready. Testing the market with a small store is much more cost effective then launching something on a huge scale.” Sumayyah Al Suwaidi, founder of clothes store Grafi ka

“Do it and don't think twice about it as nothing will teach you better than real life experience. Mistakes are inevitable, but you will see that they’re the best lessons. Be aware of the competition, but DON'T look back. Finally, always differentiate yourself and have your niche.” Dana Jallad, owner of Sugar Daddy’s Cafes in Dubai

The step: Nailing the job interview

“When hiring I look for: honesty – a person who is not pretending to be something they’re not; sharpness – someone who can answer questions quickly; initial effort – someone who has put effort into being prepared for the interview by researching the company, and motivation – the energy a person is willing to put into learning new and diffi cult things.” Sophie Katirai, founder of Sophie’s Closet (

“Come prepared and be able to talk about your strengths and experiences in a knowledgeable and articulate way. Also, know the company you want to work for and ask thought-provoking questions about the business and the position you’re applying for.” Raquel Calvelos, regional director for Kenzo

The step: Maintaining success

“It’s absolutely critical to maintain a sense of balance and proportion in your life. Running a business requires a tremendous commitment, but in order to stay sane and healthy, you must also make time for family and friends.” Eileen Wallis, managing partner of The Portsmouth Group

“Don’t take everything so personally. It’s a tough lesson to learn because to truly succeed you’re frequently required to go over and above the call of duty, especially when you’re establishing a new business but it can be a lonely road. I am so glad to have a good business partner as we share the good times as well as the challenging ones.” Sarah Johnson, managing partner of Couture Media

The step: Securing that pay rise

“I fi rmly believe you should do the job you aspire to have, not just what you’re paid to do. I remember when I was an employee, I asked my bosses for a meeting and requested to do the senior role for no extra pay for six months and if they were satisfi ed with my work then to give me a pay rise – I never had to ask for a pay rise after that.” Padma Coram, managing partner of The Talent Brokers

“You have to prove your worth depending on the position you hold. I believe that a job done well will be rewarded, but that’s not always monetary to begin with and may take the form of training or additional responsibility – both of which will make you a far more valuable future employee.” Sarah Johnson, managing partner of Couture Media