Today diversity is a corporate agenda and hiring women at leadership positions or growing women leaders from within the ranks is high priority. The opportunity is immense. However, for this gender gap to be plugged there are some things that working women need to be more conscious of. When we talk of diversity, we focus a lot on the environment and giving women professionals unbiased encouragement and support so that they can grow. It is also important to consider what is within your locus of control if you are a woman aspiring to ascend the corporate ladder of success.
Here, we talk about six things that are helpful for career-oriented women who want to move up in their careers. It is important to state here that all of these six things are within their own control.
When we start out in our careers, we all have a career goal. Somewhere along the way, women learn to put their careers last in their priority list. It is relegated to last position, way below husband’s career, children’s education, financial stability and so on. However, it is very important to earmark a goal for oneself. Unless we aspire for a higher position, it is difficult to grow in one’s career. Goals lead to intention and intention leads to action. So, it is very important to Aspire and know exactly where one wants to reach!
2. Say it
Once you have a goal in your mind, you should speak to the right person in your organization about your aspirations. Look around and see who are the people with influence, who can get you to the next position. It could be your current manager, their superior or HR. It could also be another department head. Unless you share your aspirations with the right person, you may miss out on opportunities that are a perfect fit for you. So, don’t expect others to read your mind, remember to Say It out loud to the right person at the right time!
Many a times, we wait for someone to validate, or show us a green signal that we are thinking correctly, and give an okay to go after what we aspire. It is a childhood habit that we did not grow out of. As adults, you must take ownership of your life and dreams. Do not wait for someone to give you permission to go ahead with your career goals. Choose to take the first step in that direction. Do not make excuses that it is too late. Choose to say yes to the life you want to create. Identify the baby steps and take the first one.
We all have ups and downs in our life. In our pursuit of work life balance, there are times when work takes precedence and there are times when personal life becomes more important. At such times, (eg. childbirth, illness of the elderly) you may go slow on career aspirations. That is okay. But many women make the mistake of quitting from work altogether. That is why many organizations have enough women in junior management, but not enough in middle and senior management. It is important that you Endure, go slow, but do not drop out. If you wait, your turn to rise will also come.
5. Be Non-violent
Women do spend a lot of time criticizing themselves, be it about their career, motherhood or even their physical appearance. If you notice how you talk to yourself inside your head, you will find that there is a lot of violence going on there! Really! You would never talk to your best friend the way you talk to yourself - finding faults, making yourself feel inadequate or guilty etc. It is important to practice non-violence when you are speaking to yourself. Be your own champion, encouraging yourself with your self- talk. This helps build confidence which is very handy when you apply for a new opportunity or IJP (internal job posting).
6. Develop Yourself
Invest some time to develop yourself in all the roles that are important to you, as a professional, human being, or as a parent. The world is not static, and neither should you be. Many people make the mistake of thinking that their master’s degree was the end of the education. Nothing could be further from the truth! We must learn every day. Just start with 15 mins a day to upgrade your skills and knowledge. Make use of technology, get some training to enhance your skillsets and hire a coach who will enable you to achieve your career goals.
By practicing these six steps A-S-C-E-N-D, you will find yourself moving up the career ladder and in the direction of the position you always wanted. If you want to be more prepared to transition to the next role in your career, just schedule a free consultation with our career coach today!