In the US, nearly 50% of the workforce is a woman, but they hold only 25% of senior roles. The times when the words women and career did not go together have long gone, but for some companies that still holds true. Women have had to fight hard to achieve the advancements they have, but there are still huge problems with gender diversity that need to be addressed.
Despite many challenges the general opinion seems to be that more women are becoming successful. More of them are taking top positions and there are more businesses owned by women in the US than ever before. This is all good news, but women still have to fight hard for every job and promotion. If you are looking for a new job or a promotion with the current business, hopefully, the tips below will help you to achieve your goals.
Keep Your Resume Up To Date
Your resume could be the first thing a prospective new employer sees and learns anything about you. It is crucial that you add any new skills you learn and keep it up to date at all times. If one of your skills is not putting a resume together, either get help from a professional resume writer or use one of the online resources that are there to help you build on yourself.
Download for free: Resume Template
These online tools can also help you to build a professional cover letter, which will emphasize the most impressive parts of your resume. Your resume and cover letter need to put you ahead of the competition for any new job or promotion.
Make Your Brand Strong And Visible
A strong personal brand can be just what you need for career opportunities to come your way. Being known in your line of work will help your chances of moving up the ladder, but those above you need to know what your skills and achievements are if this is to happen.
Don’t hide what you have accomplished; in fact, make yourself as visible as possible.
Build A Network Of Connections
You need to build a network of contacts both inside and outside the current employer. You want people to think of you when a particular project is discussed and this way new opportunities will come your way.
A typical, and pretty inspirational, example of this is Cynthia Telles. She is known for her work in the Department of Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine. She has held various posts over her career including being an advisor to the White House and being a member of The National Advisory Council of The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Her reputation for knowledge and caring precedes her wherever she goes and her services are sought after all the time.
It would be brilliant if all women could achieve as much as Dr Telles has, but even if you do not reach her heights, you can have a great career if you have the connections to help you move forward.
Request Feedback, Good or Bad
Never be afraid of feedback, as it is a way of learning how you can improve your skills. Request whenever possible and you may be surprised how much it helps. It will not always be positive feedback, but if it were you would learn nothing from it.
Requesting feedback will also keep you in the eye of the higher management, which can be just what you need when a promotion comes up.
Accept New Challenges Without Hesitation
Have the confidence to accept new challenges without hesitation, and work out how to do them afterward. If you are asked to lead a team for a new project and you have never led a team before, just as an example, find out as much as you can about the team members before you do anything else. Find what their strengths and weaknesses are, and how each one will best work for you. Then when the project is successfully finished you will have shown that you have leadership skills as well as knowledge about the task you were given.
Some organizations want their higher management to be able to lead, so showing this is a skill you have could be the direction toward the next step on the ladder.
Be Confident Always
You cannot expect anyone to have confidence in you if you have no confidence in yourself. It does not matter how many butterflies you have in your tummy, do not let it show.
Express yourself clearly and do not speak in a rush, as that can be taken as a sign of nerves. Speaking more slowly seems to carry more authority with it and will make you appear to be more confident than perhaps you are feeling.
Be The Type Of Person You Want To Work With
Always be polite and pleasant and never be bitchy while at work. Behave with integrity and try to do a little more than your fair share and you will become a trusted member of the workforce. That trust is important if you want to progress further and by being the person you would like to work with can help to achieve this.
Plan Your Career
Have a plan for your career and if you are intending to have a family, build into the plan how that will affect your future. Children should not stall your career if you plan it properly. In fact, the time you are on maternity leave you could complete an online course so that you have even more qualifications when you return to work.
Set some goals and monitor them as time moves on and be prepared to adapt them if the need arises.
Find A Mentor
Many women progress in their career because of building a working relationship with someone in a higher position than them. This seems to be especially the case if the mentor is another woman, as they will generally have more time and patience to help you learn all you need to know to advance in your chosen career. In many organizations, men are still the decision makers but senior women tend to make the best mentors and will often act as a sounding board for you to find out more of what you need to do.
Where possible, make friends with the senior women in the business you work for and you will find that there can be benefits to this, especially if they are happy to be friends with other women in the organization.
It does not come quite as naturally to women to sell themselves, but this needs to be done if you want a promotion or a new job. Men are much more comfortable talking about their achievements, and you need to take a leaf out of their book and promote yourself when the opportunity presents itself.
If you find this difficult to do face-to-face, do something like send a monthly email to your boss to keep them updated on the progress of the project you are running. Let them know of any special accomplishments that have been achieved and any new skills you have learned in the process.
Go For It!
As a woman in the business world, it is not always easy to progress your career or to navigate the intricacies of reaching the top. As many women have already shown though, it is not impossible. You just have to be prepared to fight for your career, and hopefully following the tips above will help you to achieve your goals.
What do you think? Do you agree with these tips? Let’s know your thoughts in the comment section below. Remember to subscribe to the blog for exclusive updates right in your inbox!