How to boost your career with intrapreneurship

business collaboration, teams working together

By Philippa White, Founder and CEO, The International Exchange

Do you, like many others, have a niggle that just won’t go away? There is something that doesn’t feel right, but you can’t quite put your finger on it.

You think about changing jobs, maybe trying a new hobby, or perhaps even go back to school. You see yourself doing more, but nothing seems to add up.

You feel as though you’ve lost your mojo.

But what is the answer?

Intrapreneurship.

Let me explain.

As a result of the pandemic, the landscape of business has changed.

Where we were is different to where we are going.

But how can we create this future that we know is possible, but hasn’t arrived yet?

This change will come from those people who are already within the system. Who feel as though it needs to be different.  Feel as though something is off. And want to change it.

Companies also know that, to ensure their survival, this change is essential. They need innovation now more than ever.

So how will this change come about?

Who will drive it?

Who are these changemakers?

They are employees who act like entrepreneurs but work within a company. Those people who are uniquely skilled to rewire companies from within.

They look at the status quo, and it makes them feel uneasy. They see opportunity in doing things differently. Believe they can make a difference and think they can find ways to leverage company assets to make their vision a reality.  And they are able to rally people behind a cause and build momentum behind their ideas.

They are intrapreneurs.

So it’s not surprising that last year Michael Page ranked intrapreneurship as the number one ‘in demand’ skill of 2020.

What makes intrapreneurs so effective in driving significant change?

Intrapreneurs are able to bridge borders, network with different people and transcend adversity. They are self-aware, flexible, and lead from the heart. They are empathetic, able to transcend adversity, embrace diversity, take calculated risks, and are comfortable in uncomfortable situations. They can collaborate and gain the trust of people different from themselves. And see connections between different products, solutions and think innovatively.

And being an intrapreneur is absolutely possible. We all have that potential.

Sometimes we just need to unlock it.

This self-awareness and potential to drive change are unlocked by going out into the world. By being pushed in new ways. It doesn’t happen inside of our comfort zones, our areas of expertise or our professional bubbles.

Instead, you unlock this true version of yourself through experiences that push your boundaries and help you question your status quo outside of the corporate world and the daily circumstances we are used to.

Then, being an intrapreneur is not only easier, but you can then ensure where you are going is aligned with who you are.

So before you can start to drive significant change, you need to feel completely aligned with the mission, and where you are taking things.

But the trick is that you need to be clear on what those values are. How they are aligned with you. And on top of that, you need to have the confidence to challenge the status quo.

Keen to know how to do this?

Here are 6 simple ways you can start to reveal the best version of yourself, to then become an agent of change:  

  • Look for inspiration in the unexpected and the difficult: Do something different that will unlock new thinking in you and help you see the world differently.
  • Expand your personal circle: Spend as much time as you can with people in professions different from your own. Talking to people in different industries about what they do is fascinating. It opens channels in your thinking you didn’t know were there. You’ll be able to empathize more, be more culturally intelligent, and see things in new ways. And whilst do that, discover new insights, and see more of what you know and what you have to offer the world.
  • Push through boundaries to unlock potential: The best way to open your mind and learn is to push yourself out of your comfort zone and be truly challenged.
  • Be brave and dare to be different: Challenge the status quo, don’t conform.
  • Be constantly curious to be constantly inspired: Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein and Paul Smith all share a similar trait. Curiosity.
  • Don’t get caught up with the little things: You want to always be looking at the big picture. And not get stuck on the small details.

In short, if you are wondering how to boost your career and how to get your mojo back, become a changemaker, become an intrapreneur. The opportunity is in your hands.  Move out of your comfort zone, experience new challenges, new cultures, connect with unusual people and be in tune with your own values.

The rest will fall into place.

“The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity”. – Rollo May

About the author

Philippa White featuredPhilippa White is Founder and CEO of The International Exchange (TIE), a world-leading international leadership programme for commercial professionals looking for personal and professional growth through experiential purpose-driven learning. Following a hugely successful career in advertising working for some of London’s biggest agencies, Philippa launched CPD-accredited TIE in 2006. Philippa is passionate about bringing out the best in people – their humanity, their ingenuity, their mojo – as she believes it will lead to a better world. TIE cohorts receive experiential learning, helping to effect tangible change by working directly with NGOs globally. Through Philippa’s inspired course design, alumni expand their horizons and push their boundaries. They learn how to step out of siloed thinking, work collaboratively, communicate more effectively, discover their purpose and new-found confidence.

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