May Busch during January’s Professional Women’s Alliance luncheon.

Two decades climbing the corporate ladder at Morgan Stanley taught international leadership consultant May Busch valuable lessons on striving for – and achieving – success. She now passes these inside tips on career mastery to other ambitious professionals.

Busch recalled getting passed for a promotion to lead her department during her tenure at Morgan Stanley. Baffled by the chosen candidate, Busch thought about why she was overlooked. She determined that a seemingly insignificant opportunity she had earlier disregarded to demonstrate her ability to lead her group likely resulted in the other person to getting the nod.

“I missed an opportunity to demonstrate I had what it takes to do the job,” Busch said. “It was a huge learning moment.”

During January’s Professional Women’s Alliance luncheon, Busch provided attendees with several best-practice strategies to assist them in leaping forward in their careers.

Busch missed that significant opportunity in her career because she failed to recognize the pivotal moment she had been presented.

According to Busch, one of the challenges of taking advantage of a pivotal moment is that they aren’t always obvious. Whether it’s a micro moment like bumping into a potential connection at the cafeteria or a macro moment like an opportunity to demonstrate capabilities to decision makers, it’s vital to be able to distinguish between the two. Typically, macro moments are more obvious and easy to prepare for. Recognizing these on a career path provides an advantage to not only utilizing them to their greatest potential, but also creating them.

“What you do or don’t do, what you say or don’t say in a pivotal moment, can fundamentally shift the trajectory of what happens during the course of a career.” Busch said.

Busch is also an advocate of “experimenting forward,” her take on the “fail fast, fail often” mantra often attributed to Silicon Valley startups.

Experimenting forward is pushing beyond comfort zones to enable a person to truly discover of what they are capable. People learn at least as much from discovering what doesn’t work as they do from success, Busch says. It encourages growth while enabling a person to determine whether a new venture or opportunity is worth a career investment.

Busch revealed that this very principle saved her from a career as a board member.

“It wasn’t for me. I wanted to get my hands dirty and do the work,” Busch said. ”That’s a big no-no for board members.”

Another component in Busch’s career mastery playbook is mobility. Maintaining the ability to move into new positions and take advantage of opportunities allows professionals to use pivotal moments to get ahead in their careers.

“Stop being indispensible for what you currently do,” Busch said. “Demonstrate you have the willingness to learn and potential to grow.”

-Written by Alexie Chavez, marketing coordinator for the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.

The next Professional Women’s Alliance luncheon will be on Tuesday, Feb. 14 featuring a dynamic panel of leading ladies from each of our top professional Arizona sports franchises.Register today!

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