Powerful career strategies for women | Daily News

Powerful career strategies for women

The general impression is that women are becoming incrementally more successful in the workforce. Women are represented in the workforce in greater numbers than ever and holding a higher percentage of managerial and executive jobs than in the past. Women-owned businesses have doubled in the last dozen or so years.

Here are some strategies women should consider for advancing their careers.

1. Get as much education

and training as you can

Education is by far women’s most powerful secret weapon. Get the highest degree you can possibly manage. The old obstacles of lack of money and time need not deter women anymore because many new options for financial aid and distance learning are available.

Consider informal ways of educating yourself through for example joining professional organizations attending conferences and keeping up with trade publications in your field.

To the extent possible when seeking a job look for companies that offer training programs and professional development opportunities. Make a point of asking in job interviews what kind of training is available. Your goal should be to develop a set of portable skills that are transferable and applicable to various career fields.

2. Be a surfer “girl”

Women are in the majority not only in most realms of higher education but also in Internet use comprising at least 52 per cent of Internet users according to Nielsen/Net Ratings. Women are also more efficient in their Internet use; they spend less time surfing because they know what they’re looking for.

Women are already harnessing the vast amount of information that the Internet puts at their fingertips. Women can stay on the cutting edge through continued dominance on the Internet and by taking advantage of online learning opportunities.

3. Leverage communication and interpersonal skills

Numerous recent studies have noted differences in the way men and women communicate and relate interpersonally. Women’s way of communicating is not necessarily better than men’s but it may be better suited to newer styles of management. So-called “feminine attributes” such as the ability to build relationships with customers strike up joint ventures and partner with suppliers are increasingly important.

Generally speaking more women than men are likely to earn the comment “plays well with others” on their workplace report cards. Women should deploy their strong interpersonal and communication skills at every opportunity and tout their accomplishments in this realm.

4. Plan your career

Career planning is important for everyone but especially for women because they generally have more twists and turns to negotiate along the road to career success than do men. If you have a roadmap you’ll be less likely to become derailed if you should for example decide to relocate to be with a significant other have a baby or suddenly need to care for an elderly parent.

Decide where you want to be five 10 and 15 years from now. Build flexibility into your career plans to allow for changing circumstances. Your plan may need to change to accommodate those life changes but your core plan will better equip you when that happens.

5. Network

Who are the more successful networkers, men or women? You might guess women because women seem like the natural talkers while we tend to think of men as holding back. The facts indicate that men use networking more effectively than women however.

The results of a 1997 study conducted by EnterChange an outplacement and career management consulting firm and reported by Valerie Frazee in Workforce magazine show for example that women are more likely than men to find their next job through an ad in the classifieds while networking is a more effective strategy for men than women. An all-woman networking group can be enormously beneficial to women seeking mentors and contacts who’ve already succeeded in breaking through the glass ceiling. These groups also can be an efficient way to deal with the time crunch that curtails women’s networking. Increasingly women are organizing networks within their own companies often with corporate support.

6. Find a mentor

If you do no other kind of networking at least find yourself a mentor — or let one find you. A mentor is that one person who can guide you help you take you under his or her wing and nurture your career quest.

7. Cultivate and project


Women often suffer from a crisis of confidence in the workplace especially when the environment is hostile or chilly to them. Confidence wins the top spot every time. You may also get a boost to your confidence from tracking your accomplishments.

8. Self-promote

Once you’ve shored up your confidence you need to make sure others know how terrific you are. Self-promotion is not easy for women.

Many women are uncomfortable with self-promotion because it flies in the face of society’s message that a woman is the support person who is supposed to put other needs ahead of her own. But women need to toot their own horns because they can’t depend on others to do it for them.

Make sure people within and outside your workplace know about your accomplishments. Submit news of accomplishments to your company newsletter and local newspaper. Let your boss know what you’re up to.



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