I realize I’m sticking my neck out here a little… since I’m a guy. What does a guy know about helping women succeed? Given that I have coached a lot of women and helped them advance in their careers, I believe I have some basis for the information that follows.
If you are a woman reading this post and feel you have additional suggestions from your perspective, please feel free to add to the ideas presented here. I realize there are many more ideas that likely have not crossed my mind.
Let me take a crack at suggesting some things that women can do to improve their career situations:
- Choose I professional field that is in high demand. One example is STEM – science, technology, engineering and math. Not only re these areas crying for talent, but also they are traditionally underrepresented by women. The old stereotypes and prejudices have largely gone away and women have great opportunities today.
- Develop your managerial skills and pursue such positions. Younger and more progressive companies are truly interested in placing women in managerial positions.
- Get clear on how your emotional intelligence, listening skills, people skills, etc. provide you an advantage and explain your advantages in persuasive ways in job interviews and other career encounters. Women, as a group, tend to have natural advantages over men in these valuable areas.
- Build your self-confidence and get coaching in being politely assertive, so that you are not shy in discussing the skills you have, the value you provide and the results you have delivered. You must speak up for yourself in a positive way.
- Seek out and gain a female mentor who is successful and ahead of you in their career. Formal mentoring programs exist and you can also find someone individually outside of such programs.
- Review your LinkedIn profile and resume. Make sure they are competitive.
- If you feel you’re not being treated fairly or underpaid, decide whether it is reasonable to discuss these things with your boss. If warranted, pursue them.
One or more of these actions may be exactly what you need to move your career forward at this time. Think them over carefully, decide which seems most feasible and take action now.
There’s no time like the present to get the career and income you deserve.