7 TIPS TO HELP WOMEN ADVANCE IN THEIR CAREER.
For a long time now, equality in the workplace has been something many of us have been working towards. Over the past 5 years, there has been steady growth in the number of women in leadership roles.
The 2018 Workplace Gender Equality Agency report found that roles such as senior management and key management personnel has seen growth of around 4% in regards to women’s representation.
With such growth set to continue in the coming years, it’s the perfect time for women to harness their skills and take advantage of new opportunities.
Here are 8 tips to help women advance in their career.
Take advantage of training opportunities
Education and training are crucial to career advancement for anyone, but perhaps it’s even more important for women. Since 2000, a majority of associate bachelor’s and master’s degrees were awarded to women, and in 2017 58.5% of university/college degrees were awarded to women.
With so many women gaining college degrees, there’s likely to be more competition for that promotion. This means, women who want to advance their career should be seeking extra training opportunities.
Seek out any training services that are offered by your employer. This will not only give you a better chance at advancement, but it will show your boss that you are keen to learn.
Have a career plan.
Again, this tip isn’t exclusive to women, but us women generally have a lot more pathways to navigate as we advance through our career. Having a career plan not only makes it easier to get where you want to be, if something unexpected happens to your career, it will be easier for you to get back on track.
Your career map should take you to where you want to be in the next 5, 10, 15 years with smaller, achievable goals. Think about what your dream position is and find ways for you to work towards that. Have yearly or monthly goals to work towards, that will all eventually help you get to that position.
Leverage Communication Skills.
Women and men talk differently. It’s clear that men and women have differences in priorities, internal processing and behavior patterns, so the goals for communication and the way we get there is different.
In recent years, business has become more team based, and there’s a bigger focus on building relationships, both internally and externally. A LinkedIn study found that while men talk to negotiate and maintain status, women talk to create intimacy and build rapport. Feminine attributes such as these can be leveraged to simultaneously be more effective at work and in the pursuit of promotions.
You probably hear it time and time again, networking is key for your success. This is because it’s true! Networking and building relationships can have a massive impact on your career. Unfortunately, studies suggest that men network better than women. While this can come down to a range of issues, it’s important that women make professional connections.
Similar to the last tip, women can use their rapport building skills to make connections and maintain relationships that may help advance their careers. The increase in all-women networking groups have helped women find contacts and mentors who can then help them break through the “glass-ceiling”.
Practice & project confidence.
Particularly in male dominated work places, it can be hard for women to be confident, assertive, or simply have a voice. It’s easy to understand why confidence is important in the workplace. Being confident helps you take responsibility, make decisions and lead a team.
There’re many ways to practice being confident, from consistently meeting and talking in front of new people to facing fears. Something that can be helpful for anyone is to create a professional work portfolio. Listing all of your accomplishments can remind you of what you have achieved and what you deserve.
Get good at negotiating.
Negotiating is an important skill when it comes to advancing in your career. Again, men are much more likely to negotiate than women.
Negotiating is easier than it might sound. It’s all about conveying your needs in a clear, professional way. If you feel you are being underpaid, or are after a promotion, it’s important that you negotiate confidently. Utilise things like salary surveys to find the average pay for your role, and if possible, talk to contacts in similar positions. Generally, it’s best to ask for a little higher than you’re hoping for, so in the case that your offer is countered, you will still be happy with the end result.
Self-promotion is crucial in today’s competitive workplace. Coming to work, doing a solid job and going home is no longer enough to advance within your career. People are busy, focusing on themselves and simply may not be aware of your ambitions.
By combining your communication skills, confidence and negotiating skills, promote the great work you have done. At first this might seem a little uncomfortable, and you may be against boasting, but if you don’t do it, someone else will and that position you had in your sights will be gone.
Let your superiors know what you’re working on and what accomplishments you are proud of. It’s also important to leverage sites like LinkedIn to share any good results you have achieved for yourself or your company.
Trying to advance within your career can be an overwhelming, difficult thing to do. However, you shouldn’t let some uncertainty get in the way of your ambitions. Committing to training opportunities, networking and practicing confidence in general will go along way in helping any women advance their career.
Julie Melville is a content manager for Cluey Learning. She's passionate about education and helping children and high school students excel in their studies. While she's not providing high quality advice to student’s parents and teachers, Julie loves learning about the universe and playing with her puppies.