7 Things Every Career Girl Should Know
Hello, Monday! There's no better time to evaluate your career goals and understand what areas need a little boost, than a Monday in June! We need to get on track before July gets in, you know how July gets, scaring us with its-second-half-of-the-year-what-do-you-have-to-show-for-it reputation.
Right below are some important skills and career building tips that every career girl needs to know. Hurry, before July gets in! Here goes:
1. Value your work and skills in those heels
We work pretty hard but how much do we value our skills?
"Yeah, well, I'm great with CAD."
"I can build a website in my sleep." *shrug*
"So what if I can make 700 plates of party lunch plates in three hours."
"I take care of our home, run errands and take care of the kids. I wish I had a real job."
"I speak 4 languages but bleh..."
So many women have skills and they should be celebrated (which is why we have PGI girls!)! We should value our accomplishments and skills. True, there's always room to learn some more and to improve but value should be placed on that which we have accomplished and the tasks we achieve on a daily basis.
2. Negotiate circles around anyone
I understand some systems do not support equal pay between both genders but for some of us who have the opportunity to negotiate pay, we sometimes cower. Here's the fact, men negotiate pay. It's the fact.
When Ed negotiates, I cringe but he usually gets what he wants and I don't...I just get more wrinkles from cringing. Men are more likely than women to negotiate pay. As women, we are a little bit bashful about asking for more. Asking for more is a risk and studies show that women are more risk-averse than men. That maybe the reason, it may also be that we just don't value our skills enough to put a good value on it (see #1). You have to ask for more, to get more. There are no pink ponies and shimmery wands in the real world, and no one is going to drop extra cash on your lap until you ask! Ask for more!
3. Shop for a mentor
Hey, girls, so mentors! It turns out that females hardly get mentored and this is a three-pronged problem. Prong #1 There are far less women in managerial positions than men and so there are less female mentors to start with. Prong #2, some women in authority sometimes feel insecure and might feel like other female subordinates might be out to get their positions, so the ones who ask to be mentored only get very leveled teaspoons of advice and mentoring. No one is trying to still your job, Ma'am. Well, maybe some are, but others just want to learn. Help the younger women. Prong #3 Younger women hesitate before asking for mentoring, assuming the senior colleagues don't have the time or that they come across as bothersome. Reach out to your mentor-crush first, and if you get shut-down, move on to the next.
4. Recommend people for positions
A female superior is less likely to recommend a subordinate for a position according to this study. This study by the Harvard review shows that men are more hands on with their mentoring, they help to plan their career moves and empower their mentees in new roles! It's not quite the same with women. Women in power need to mentor and pull more women up the ladder.
*Who you epp?*
5. Keep your home separate from your work as much as possible
The first thing I learnt in business school was this; your client doesn't care if you've had a bad day. Get it done. Honestly, your boss doesn't care, your client, customer. No one cares. Get it done!
OK, so you have a great boss and he does indeed care. It doesn't matter, act like he doesn't. At first, I thought this was a little harsh, slowly i discovered that it teaches you to be professional in your dealings, to execute tasks promptly and to show results. If you have excuses, leave them at home. If your child is sick, tell it as it is and get time off work. Don't get someone to sign in for you and then not show up.
Also leave your work at work. Finally, that double life you always dreamed of!
6. Go the extra mile, still in those heels
There is always an extra mile, right after the publicly-proclaimed finish line. I learnt this from one of my classmates from school. She dotted all i's, crossed all t's, intersected all x's; her work was always of superior quality and it stood out because she chose to do more than expected! Go the extra mile.
7. Don't be afraid to ask for help
Girl-pride is great during empowering ladies' nights and karaoke renditions of "Independent Women", however, when it comes to achieving your career goals and contributing to your organization's objectives, it's a good idea to ask for help when you need to. Find a mentor within you company or industry, someone who can give you guidance for your task. If there's no one suitable, ask questions! Ask the people on your team for help. If need be, call a meeting and have a constructive problem-solving session. Don't feel like people are going to stare at you like you know nothing. People will always stare and judge, that's OK. When they are done, they will peel their eyes off you and stare at someone else. Ask questions, please. Gather information and execute your duties like you were made for it!
I hope this helped! Please don't forget to share! Thanks. What steps are you taking this month to launch that awesome career off the ground?!