Being a woman in the workplace comes with its ups and downs. On one hand, you get to prove yourself and grab any good opportunity that comes your way; but on the other, you are met with hurdles that women have faced for decades.
“Women leaders are switching jobs at the highest rates we’ve ever seen, and ambitious young women are prepared to do the same. To make meaningful and sustainable progress toward gender equality, companies need to go beyond table stakes,” a 2022 research piece by global management consulting firm Mckinsey reads in part.
The report, which focused on biases and barriers that women face, adds that although women leaders are as ambitious as their male colleagues, they face challenges that make it difficult to progress.
“They’re more likely to experience belittling microaggressions, such as having their judgment questioned or being mistaken for someone more junior,” Mckinsey notes, adding, “They’re doing more to support employee well-being and foster inclusion, but this critical work is spreading them thin and going mostly unrewarded.”
A good place to start is to set goals of what you want to achieve, and how to achieve them and put in place a timeline.
The CEO of Lifehack, Leon Ho writes that setting deadlines and milestones will motivate you to get things done.
“Don’t be overwhelmed by the size of your goals, but instead, set milestones and deadlines to motivate you to get things done. If necessary, break down big goals into small components,” she notes, adding that by so doing, you’ll have a blueprint in your mind that will allow you to stay focused and motivated.
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LEARN NEW THINGS
Once you put yourself out there to be teachable and versatile, you can get new skills that will be beneficial to your career.
Exploring new ideas, roles and functions at work will also keep your job interesting and position you for growth.
Don’t know how to do that one thing your colleague is so good at? Have them show you how it’s done. Haven’t attended a training in a while? Perhaps this is the right time.
Corporate Finance Institute, an educational website reports that people who wish to advance their careers are always open to learning new things because knowledge is power.
“Like technology, there are always new developments in every field, and reading books can help you stay up to date. Alternatively, you should never limit yourself to your job title. Be willing and eager to take on responsibility even when it is not a part of your job description,” CFI notes, adding, “Your skills and knowledge can help you make a greater impact on the company, enabling you to move up the corporate ladder.”
TAKE CARE OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Your mental health completely affects all areas of your life, be it the personal side or the professional one.
Stress and mental health can impact your performance at work and influence how you interact with colleagues and other stakeholders.
If you have a lot going on at home, at work and consequently on your mind, you may not be working at your best for the sake of career growth.
Salveo Health, a Psychiatric facility reports on its website how crucial mental well-being is for success at work, and how detrimental it can be if neglected.
“An overload of responsibilities can take a toll on your mental health, especially if your profession is in a high-stress environment,” Salveo reports.
It adds: “Professional tennis athlete, Naomi Osaka, faced an enormous amount of stress from the tennis industry and the media. The demands impacted her mental health, which was brushed off by those around her, and led her to briefly pull away from the tennis world.”
The website advises that in order to be in a healthy mental state, you should practice self-care, speak up when decisions affect your mental health, maintain a strong support system, remain professional and know when to leave.
Building the right kind of professional relationships is key to career growth.
Forbes magazine notes that these positive interactions with the right people will get you noticed, improve your creative intellect and avail you of new opportunities.
Michael Page, a recruitment company reports on its website that good industry networking has a basis of trust and support -and can mean the difference between a mediocre career and a phenomenal career.
The report suggests that you could build a professional relationships with current and former colleagues, classmates, professors and teachers, members of relevant industry associations and peers from professional networks such as LinkedIn. “Networking can include everything from an informal chat at a neighbour’s barbecue to attending a specialised industry networking event. In any case, the goal is to open the lines of communication and start building relationships that are relevant to your work and career.”
Be assertive and know your worth
Speaking your mind and remaining firm is not bossy or rude, so don’t be afraid to put your foot down when you are passionate about something.
“Being assertive means setting boundaries and remaining firm whether it applies to availability, responsibility or salary negotiation,” Forbes reports.
The magazine notes that women should speak out about their needs and wants, be confident and be direct.
Don’t be afraid to take up space at the workplace. Air your views in meetings differ in opinion when need be and share your ideas boldly.