I was not aware of the invisible journey I unconsciously embarked in the workplace till I had the opportunity to be visible!
When I joined the hospitality industry, I worked as hard as any other ambitious women in the industry. I spent a substantial amount of time thinking about strategies that would help me achieve greater levels of success. I knew where I was heading, I could hear people congratulating for my new assignment, I could see my new office, touch the new business cards and smell my new leather chair.
I was so focused and always strived for a more impressive job title with more responsibility and yet I was struggling to get to the next role. I kept looking back and feel that I should have achieved more and sometimes I wished that I had chosen a different career altogether or blame other people and politics for feeling stuck.
I was not moving as fast as I wanted despite all my efforts and accomplishments. I felt almost invisible…
I had to do something to be noticed…and you are noticed by people! So I created my own “visibility board”, a trusted group of key people similar to a board of directors, a group of people who would be interested to see me succeed because they would benefit from my achievements as much as I did.
By asking people in and out of the organization my board started growing. There were mentors who just wanted to do something nice and helping me was a gratifying experience, sponsors whose mission was to promote me and become visible themselves for growing talents in the industry, family members who just wanted to see me happy. They were from different background and sectors.
I soon got to know more than other women in the organization. It was not the technical skills, industry experience, or business knowledge that was available to every one. But the internal politics of who to work with and who not to work with, who to volunteer for and what time of the day is best to talk to certain colleagues.
By doing so I become interested in other people and their passion and I wanted them to succeed. It became a spiral as the more I did for others, the more they wanted to do for me. The more experiences I shared, the more I learned from them. I knew their hobbies, where they liked to visit and eat, how many kids they had and their pets’ name. People knew my name and started asking about my point of view.
Networking is a two way street and needs to be strategically planned in order to access those unwritten rules of the C-suite and fast track your career. It is a give and take and you have to extend your arm to reach someone’s hand for help.
And when the moment came and I applied for a promotion…guess who got it? My name was on their list. I even knew that the person who interviewed me liked a pinch of salt in her pancake!
Assia Riccio is a professional consultant and hospitality veteran with 5 plus years’ experience in learning and development.
She earned her Bachelors degree in her native Italy in Economy and Business of Tourism as well as a dual certificate in leadership and personal effectiveness in Switzerland at the Ecole Hotelier de Lausanne. In the US, she obtained a certificate in Revenue and Financial Management at Cornell University, where she was awarded a scholarship to pursue studies in leadership.
Assia is a Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) coach and holds an NLP Practitioner Certificate recognised by the American Board of NLP. She is certified as a Practitioner of Time Line Therapy™ recognised by the Time Line Therapy Association™ and as Practitioner Hypnotherapist recognised by the American Board of Hypnotherapy. Assia is also a Certified Practitioner for PRISM Brain Mapping.
Since 2009 Assia has worked with universities in Italy and England and mentored several students throughout their studies. Over the years she has been guest speaker in numerous conferences on people engagement and was nominated for the Learning and Development Leader of the year at the L&D Show Dubai 2013. Assia also delivered leadership and communication trainings for the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) in Dubai. She is also a member of the advisory board committee for the Ecole Hôtelière Helvétique in Dubai and a member of the Dubai Women Business Council.
Assia works with several international non-profit organizations such as Hoper for Women in Jordan offering consultancy on women leadership and diversity in organization.
Before joining Jumeirah Restaurant Group Dubai as Learning & Development Manager, Assia managed inLead Consulting in Dubai with a portfolio of worldwide known training solutions including Ken Blanchard, VitalSmarts, Eagle’s Flight and Bob Pike. She is a certified trainer in Situational Leadership and Optimal Motivation by Ken Blanchard, Crucial Conversations by VitalSmarts and delivered training in Coca-Cola, ENEC, Dubai Health Authority, General Electrics, TSYS.