The Company You Keep Can Help You Find Your Voice

The company you keep can make all the difference to your career success

It’s not your job to contort yourself to fit the lens of someone else’s bias.

Women in particular often mute themselves because they fear being told they’re difficult, stroppy, aggressive, hysterical or a ball-breaking bitch. In 10 years of helping people to develop their presence, impact and position themselves for seniority, I’ve never once heard a man share this concern.

Your job is to stay in your own lane, speak up and get your message across. Don’t dim your light because some may find it dazzles them. You may attract the odd moth, but don’t let it put you off. I love Schwarzberg’s message here.

Find your courage and speak up and out.

To position yourself for success and seniority, you need to be heard, despite those who hear something different when you open your mouth and speak.

The Company You Keep Matters

Surrounding yourself with the right kind of support makes this easier. Choose to spend time with the people who share your values, understand your message and who get ‘it’ and ‘you’. That doesn’t mean never being open to challenge or creating an echo chamber but it does mean having people who will back you up, be your cheerleaders, celebrate your wins, be there when the world wants to shut you down and give you the motivation to carry on.

These people are important. In the workplace, hunt out allies for mutual support. In your personal life, choose your company wisely. And when you look around you, if the company you keep joins in that general nay-saying noise, then maybe it’s time to start distancing yourself a little? You need people who will have your back, not stab you in it.

Speaking up is a fundamental way to work on positioning yourself for a more senior role, so don’t let fear stop you. My second  book,  Strategies for Being Visible can help you to formulate plan for doing this.

Susan Ritchie sepcialises in helping emerging leaders to make their presence felt and create more impactI’m Susan Ritchie and I can help you to position yourself for seniority. You can read my books, attend my (virtual) workshops or work with me on the Visible Leadership Programme.

To find out more, email me at