According to statistics, men are more successful in their careers. However, this is not an axiom. Leadership expert Jo-Wimble Groves offers three ways to help women achieve career heights.
Girls delight their parents with good academic performance at school and at the university, and more often go to graduate school. However, in adulthood, things change. The average man earns more than a woman and moves up the corporate ladder faster. What prevents women from reaching career heights?
Studies have shown that almost 50% of women believe that they are hindered by a lack of self-confidence, and many have been haunted by this uncertainty since school. A serious blow to professional self-esteem is also caused by maternity leave: when they return to work after a long break, women feel that they have lagged behind their colleagues.
How to overcome self-doubt and succeed in your career? Three tips will help.
1. Focus on what you do best
It is impossible to be successful in everything. It makes more sense to hone your skills in what you already know how to do than to endlessly think about what courses to complete in order to become more competitive. Of course, new opportunities for learning and development should not be ignored, but it should be remembered that any new skill is not acquired immediately.
When interviewing or discussing a promotion, first describe what you have already achieved excellence in, then mention the skills that you are improving, and only at the end tell about plans for professional growth. It is much more comfortable to discuss things that you feel confident about.
It is known that women are superior to men in the art of negotiation and relationship building. Why not apply the talent of a listener and negotiator at work? Good relations with partners, suppliers and customers are what many companies lack today. Take on networking issues and talk about your successes in this area when the opportunity arises.
The ability to work in a team and establish external relations is often more valuable than professional skills
During the interview, focus on your social skills, illustrate your talent as a negotiator with examples, share the results, describe your role in the team, and explain how you can be useful given your skills and experience.
Today, more and more often, not just narrow-profile professionals are required, but people whose values are consonant with the values of the company. The ability to work in a team and establish external relations is often more valuable than professional skills.
3. Look for opportunities to grow and advance
At work, women rarely respond to emerging offers, because they are not sure that they will be able to figure out a new type of activity. Such behavior is often regarded by management as a reluctance to develop.
If occupying an ordinary position all your life is not at all the limit of your dreams, you will have to force yourself to meet the challenges. Taking part in an innovative project, speaking at a conference, organizing a party at the office — whatever you do, you will become a noticeable person, and not just a girl at a table in the far corner. All these types of activities can and should be mentioned at interviews and during the next assessment of the results of your work.
Any activity that is not directly related to official duties forms the image of an active, self-confident successful person. Such people make successful careers.
About the Author: Jo Wimble-Groves is a motivational speaker and leadership specialist who has written projects to develop women’s careers and empowerment.