Career path for women in business is typically tougher than for men. As the statistics show, women are paid less than men for doing the same job and are often asked discriminatory questions during job interviews. However, despite all the setbacks and the issues of sexist attitude, some women make it to the top of the corporate ladder or run their own multimillion businesses.
For all career-driven women in business environment, our professional resume writing services has collected hands-on, inspiring advice from the most spectacular and successful women out there. Below, you’ll find helpful first-hand tips on career building, strategic planning, achieving work-life balance and many more. Enjoy!
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10 best career tips from women in business
- Find a mentor and use them
Melody McCloskey, CEO of online platform StyleSeat, recommends doing it in the first place if you want to achieve career success. She suggests that you find someone on the career path you admire and find an opportunity to learn from them directly. Perfect, if you get an opportunity to work under their supervision or contribute to the project they are involved at. In this case, you’ll only need to get prepared and absorb as much as you can.
What if it’s impossible to work with your dream mentor at the moment? Successful people often share their advice, so follow them in social media, and listen to podcasts or interviews with them.
If mentor criticizes your work, it’s highly important that you take criticism in the right way. Here are the ways to accept criticism effectively: http://resumeperk.com/blog/effective-ways-to-face-criticism-at-the-workplace.
- Don’t do anything only for the sake of money
Anna Brockway, co-founder of online resale marketplace Chairish, says that it’s wrong to put money as your primary goal. Instead, find something that you love and turn it into a career. If you love something so much that you are willing to do it for free, you’ll find the way to make it financially rewarding.
Many accomplished leaders express the same opinion. Success is not only about money – it’s about being satisfied with all areas of your life, including your career path. If your current job isn’t fulfilling, take your time to think about what kind of job would make you happy, and only then focus on making money out of it.
Do you have a hobby that you truly enjoy but can’t figure out how to turn it into a full-time job? Read our guidance here: http://resumeperk.com/blog/tips-how-to-turn-your-hobby-into-a-dream-job.
- Always look for opportunities to learn and grow
Rachel Rutherford, co-CEO of fashion platform Pose, gives this as her top career advice. Regardless of what your position is at the moment, look around to see what you could do beyond your traditional set of responsibilities and bring value. Go-getters who don’t limit themselves to just ‘doing the job’ and demonstrate interest and enthusiasm work their way up much easier and are noticed faster.
So, always look for opportunities to contribute. Even if you aren’t promoted as a result, you’ll get recognition from coworkers and satisfaction from the job well done. All in all, you’ll have another accomplishment to include in your resume.
Curious about how to show initiative in the right way? Click here to find out: http://resumeperk.com/blog/initiative-at-work-to-take-or-not-to-take.
- Surround yourself with people who believe in you
According to Julia Hartz, co-founder and president of Eventbrite, the importance of our professional surroundings is hard to overestimate. If you want to succeed, surround yourself with people who motivate you to grow. Eventually, the everyday support and advice will help you become stronger and stay on track to meet your goals set. These people can be your mentors, colleagues, clients – anyone who pushes you up.
Julia also highlights the importance of asking for help when it’s necessary. The ability to ask for help and accept it makes you an effective team player and a good negotiator, both of which are important in business environment.
Have you already identified your preferred style of work? If no, find out whether you work better in a team or individually: http://resumeperk.com/blog/teamwork-vs-individual-work-find-your-ideal-option.
- Stay perseverant
Julie Carlson, founder and editor in chief of Remodelista, reminds of the importance of perseverance for a successful career. If you fail to get hired for a job, don’t give up. The doors will open if you stay positive and persistent in your efforts. Moreover, when you search for the new job actively, you meet new people and expand your network, which eventually can open the opportunities you couldn’t think of.
To benefit from this strategy most, you need to be totally aware of what you want to do and where you’d like to work. Being focused helps you concentrate your efforts as you search for new opportunities and allows you not to waste your time on secondary things. If you attend interviews, take a look at pros and cons of personal interview to prepare more efficiently.
- Master your subject matter
Donna Frosco, a partner at Keane &Beane, P.C., states that competence is essential to become a good leader. Knowledge is the power, and if you want to work your way up, you need to be well-educated and never stop learning. Being a quick learner along with willingness to learn by yourself, stay curious and broaden your area of expertise will ensure you a competitive advantage.
She says that being a good communicator is highly important as well. You need to adjust your communication for each group or individual you are going to reach. And, if you support your communication skills with active listening, it will help you become an even better leader.
Do you want to become a model employee so that every company wanted to have you onboard? Here are the personality traits the perfect employees possess: http://resumeperk.com/blog/watch-and-learn-top-15-qualities-of-the-ideal-employee.
- Look at things differently
Barbara Cerf, the corporate Vice President at New York Life, highlights the importance of looking at things under different angle. What differentiates great leaders is that they all have a vision. This vision comes from professional expertise, ability to see the whole picture and understanding of people and business. And this vision helps the best leaders foresee the best way to develop the company and accumulate resources to meet the goals set.
Innovation is a companion of developed vision – to be a good leader, you should be open for change and know how to benefit most from it. Leaders are responsible for the success of the entire company, so they need the courage to implement their best ideas and make them work.
If you’d like to develop your vision or simply ran out of ideas, here’s how to regain your inspiration: http://resumeperk.com/blog/10-ways-to-find-lost-desire-and-inspiration.
- Network to give help
Joan Steinberg, the Global Head of Philanthropy, says that networking isn’t only about getting career help from people. It also implies helping the others you meet. Obviously, when we make a new acquaintance in a professional setting, we expect to rely on their help, but why not giving a hand of help to someone? Display a ‘go-to’ attitude and create yourself a reputation of a person who can be relied upon. As the practice shows, the good things you do for others get repaid to you and a strong professional reputation can go you a long way. So, the next time you are introduced to someone, ask yourself, “How can I be of help”?
Being helpful and directing others are one of the traits of a good leader. And, since people tend to remember those who have helped them, it can help you move up the career ladder faster.
- Find a dream, a goal and passion
Wei Sun Christianson, a CEO of Morgan Stanley China, believes that having a dream, a goal and a passion is the recipe for a successful career. Huge success only comes to passionate individuals. Think of a dream and a goal as of the roadmap that will allow you get where you want, while without a clear goal you’ll likely wander without knowing which steps to take. In its turn, if you aren’t passionate about what you do, you’ll get discouraged when the tough times come. And, as we mentioned above, money is the poor motivator when it comes to achieving success in the long run.
Of course, being skilled and qualified for the role and your hard-working approach are important. Nevertheless, they will only work if you go in line with your long-term goal.
Haven’t created your career plan yet? Check how to plan your career effectively and achieve the goals set.
- Admit your mistakes
Elizabeth Elliott, theVice President at Equity Research reminds that it takes a lot of strength to admit that you’re wrong. If you are a success-driven individual, making mistakes probably irritates you a lot if you see them as setbacks on the way to your big goal. Moreover, it takes a lot of courage to take everything at your stride. The best tactic, however, is to admit your mistakes and do your best to correct them. Everyone makes mistakes, but only the people who are willing to accept them and learn from them are those who succeed.
Taking ownership of your mistakes also support productive relationships within a team as it builds trust among the team members.
Do you often make mistakes during job interviews? Learn how to answer unexpected interview questions to make a stellar first impression.
In some industries, career path for women is tougher than for men. Nevertheless, if you see every challenge as an opportunity to grow professionally and personally and advance your skills, you’ll inevitably reach the career goal you’ve planned for yourself.
Are you planning to continue your career with a new company? Then, you’ll need a resume which sells your skills and qualifications best. Our expert resume writers know how to highlight your key selling points on paper and help you come across as the perfect candidate. Click to find out more about our services and prices.
How to succeed at the workplace: tips for women
Today, more and more companies are committing to gender equality. And, despite the men are promoted more likely, women continue to achieve professional success either in big companies or as entrepreneurs. In addition to the inspirational advice we’ve collected above from the female leaders, we’d like to share a few more tips for women who are oriented at reaching career heights.
- Set up your mind for success
This may sound obvious, however, people often neglect this rule. However, if you don’t have a clear vision of where you are going, you are likely to be going nowhere. Whatever you do in the office, keep your big career goal in mind – when you realize what you are doing it for, everyday routine becomes meaningful and you open yourself for more opportunities.
If you want to succeed, you’ll have to step out of the comfort zone – that’s the unbreakable rule for professional growth. Don’t let your fear and hesitations slow you down. Everyone has fears and concerns, but the difference is that successful people act and take responsibility despite the fear.
- Have a career plan at hand
Having a goal is great, but a goal without the clear plan of actions is hard to achieve. Career plan is used to break your big goal into smaller, measureable ones which are faster to accomplish and easier for tracking the progress.
As soon as your primary goal is set, use a career plan to set smaller goals which will be your milestones on the way to success. The planning process will help you see the areas which need work and the skills you need to master; therefore, it will facilitate your professional development. Moreover, as you accomplish smaller goals, it will boost your confidence and help you stay on track. This is highly important as the bigger goal is usually a few years ahead, and seeing that you are actually making progress will keep you motivated.
There isn’t such thing as a perfect career plan – maybe, your priorities will change in a year or two. In this case, you’ll need to modify the plan to keep it updated with your new career needs.
- Foster your confidence
Women have a confidence gap more often than men and this gap might be slowing your career progression. However, confidence is one of the key assets you’ll need if you are aiming for a leadership role. Don’t let the fear step in your way – if you want to get noticed and promoted, you’ll need to get visible and show up at the workplace. Speak up whenever possible and suggest your ideas if you have something to say. Participate in meetings and conferences and don’t shy away from getting involved in discussions. Need help or want to ask for a promotion? Be sure to initiate the conversation.
Speaking up or taking on extra responsibility require confidence. If you feel that you lack confidence, try one of the psychological tricks to stay calm.
- Start a blog
Blog is a perfect place to share ideas, network and connect with likeminded individuals. However, a professional blog can bring you even more benefits. First, it can establish a reputation of the subject matter expert for you. Second, it can serve as a portfolio of your work, especially if you analyze case studies or are connected with internet marketing. And third, it expands your professional network, letting the best opportunities to find you. Since online presence is important for hiring managers today, a popular professional blog will be a great argument for hiring you.
Always wanted to start a blog but lack confidence in your writing skills? Check out our content writing tips for newbies.
- Preparation is important
In a fast-paced environment, you’ll never be 100% ready for what is coming. Nevertheless, being prepared and doing your homework significantly increases your chances to make the right decision and deliver results. Start with small things such as always having a pen and a notebook with you and researching the prospective client before negotiation to fully understand their needs. Before your working day starts, try to anticipate what might happen and prepare accordingly. When preparation and planning becomes your second nature, you’ll be perceived as a reliable employee with high standards, which will definitely contribute to your workplace success.
Getting along well with people working next to you is highly important for successful career. To preserve productive professional relationships, avoid the taboo topics of conversation at work.
- Go above and beyond to exceed expectations
Often, it’s not your knowledge that determine whether you’ll be hired or not, but your enthusiasm and attitude. The same rules affect your success at the workplace. A hard-working approach and your willingness to over-deliver can move up your career faster than your skills and years of experience.
Leaders value those employees who care about the company success and are ready to go above and beyond to get the job done. To become one of those ‘go-getters’, start with identifying expectations from your role. Talk to your supervisor or co-workers to get a big picture of what is expected from you and then think of how you can deliver even more.
Why does it work? If you go beyond your traditional scope of responsibility, the perception of your value will increase and you’ll feel free to ask about a pay raise or a promotion.
- Always learn and grow
In the information age, lifelong learning is no longer a privilege – it’s a must if you want to succeed in your industry. A mentor can help you learn more effectively, however, if you don’t have a mentor yet, there are multiple opportunities to learn on your own. Here are just some of them:
- Be open to new opportunities – whether you work for a big company or a startup, there can be a plenty of opportunities to contribute beyond your standard responsibilities. Organizing corporate events, mentoring new employees or leading an innovative project will help you get noticed. Even if you fail, it’s going to be a learning experience.
- Take trainings – most companies offer corporate trainings to keep their staff up-to-dated with what’s new in the industry. However, you can also learn on your own by taking online courses on platforms such as Coursera. Trainings will broaden your expertise and add value to your resume.
Resume writing is also a skill, and it’s essential if you change jobs frequently. Learn the do’s and don’ts of modern resume to improve the quality of your application documents.
- Maintain work-life balance
Keeping the balance between your job and family activities require a great deal of organizational skills and time management. It’s possible to have a fulfilling career and a good mother, but only if you can balance the priorities and manage all areas of your life. Implementing the principles of time management in your life outside of work can help a lot. Create a daily to-do list and time outline including not only your professional duties but also family ones. Treat all of your plans and appointments with equal respect and plan important family events in advance.
A successful career won’t make you happy if you sacrifice other important aspects of life. Workaholism is treated negatively by more and more companies as it has little to do with genuine productivity.
- Expand your network
Networking is beneficial for everyone. However, career-focused individuals should be proactive about it. Start with building relationships with other teams within your organization – they can support you within their area of expertise or share career advice. Network with recruiters and HR managers of other companies, especially those representing your dream employers. Establish new contacts during corporate parties, conferences and professional events. Let your new interlocutor know your job and career interests, and offer help if you feel that you can be helpful to someone.
In the age of social media, it’s okay to use them for professional networking, too. However, don’t be annoying and limit communication by professional networks such as LinkedIn and groups representing your company or industry.
Don’t forget to clean up your social media before the job search since your personality and interests will be evaluated by hiring managers based on your online profiles.
- Know your limits
Even if you’re a hard-working and dedicated individual, you need to prioritize the tasks you take on to succeed. Don’t get down to everything you could potentially complete; only focus on tasks you’re most competent at and on those that will help you learn something new. Learn to delegate secondary and routine duties to focus on what’s most important and what can bring results. Remember that success is about making your efforts focused rather than taking on everything. Moreover, delegating the tasks that can be easily done by someone else will maintain your work-life balance and leave you more time for the other important activities.
Having a fulfilling career and a happy family is possible. To achieve this, you’ll need a big goal and a passion for your job that will drive you towards reaching that goal. Planning and maintaining work-life balance, in its turn, will help you have all your areas of life balanced.
If you are looking for career advice that works, also check our guide to achieving work success.
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