At right, Karen Brennan, chief financial officer at JLL, speaks with Kimberly Adams, managing director with JP Morgan Asset Management, at the 2021 ULI Fall Meeting in Chicago.

Speaking during the “View from the Top” session at the 2021 ULI Fall Meeting, two midcareer professionals who participate in the ULI Women’s Leadership Initiative talked about building networks, taking positions you are not completely ready for, and leadership.

Kimberly Adams, managing director with JP Morgan Asset Management, introduced Karen Brennan, chief financial officer for JLL, saying they had known each other for almost 10 years, having met on a suburban office deal.

“When you’re building your support network, find relationships that are authentic,” Adams said. “You’re not going to like everyone you meet and not everybody’s going to click with you, and that’s okay. But as you build a support network, whether it’s female or male within the industry, rely on those relationships that are authentic because those are the people that are going to give you an honest answer and those are the people that are going to guide you to be your best self.”

Brennan added, “Don’t ever feel like you’ve got to finish everything in your current role before you take your next one or raise your hand for your next one.” It is impossible to finish everything you hope to accomplish in one role, she said.

She also said you have to take risks intelligently and believe in yourself even when you are not totally ready for a new role. “Opportunities aren’t going to find you when you are kind of exactly ready in your career for the next step,” she said. Questions to consider, she said, are, “What is the role? What is the opportunity? What could you learn from it? How can you pull your existing skill base into it, or not? What are the ways you could be successful?”