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|Posted on February 24, 2021 at 12:16 PM||comments ()|
Women in the workforce face challenging barriers — some seen and many unseen. If you want to start a business, advance in your career, navigate sexism in the workplace, and break through glass ceilings, then you will have to develop a game plan for the future. Be assertive about promotions, be proactive about learning (and mastering) new skills, and surround yourself with encouraging and supportive allies like Moms, Kids, and Friends. When you apply these goals to your overall career strategy, you can lay the foundation for the kind of success you want. Here are a few more tips that can help women identify their career goals and create a plan for achievement.
Starting a Business
If you’re currently out of work because of the COVID-19 pandemic or you’re unsatisfied with your current employer, what options do you have? Today, plenty of women start their own businesses. If you have a profitable idea, you could pursue entrepreneurship instead of traditional employment.
Should you choose to start your own business, you’ll want to take steps to protect your personal assets and save money during tax season. Structuring your business as an LLC is the best way to accomplish this. Filing for an LLC on your own can be a bit confusing if you’ve never done it before, but if you want to avoid high lawyer fees, you can take care of this by working with an online formation service instead. And how long does it take to register LLC? This also varies by location and how prepared you are with your paperwork (to name a few factors).
Planning for Advancement
Advancing in your career isn’t just about working up the corporate ladder — though that is how many people measure success. When you look out on your professional horizon, don’t just think about the job titles you want. Rather, ask yourself the following:
● What are you passionate about?
● What responsibilities would be a fun challenge?
● What responsibilities would be unfulfilling?
● What ideal benefits, aside from salary, would make you satisfied with your work-life balance?
● What skills do I need to cultivate to propel me to this level?
● What intentional and focused goals have I put in place to succeed?
Doing a little research will help you answer these questions in a way that balances your career goals with your personal goals. You can learn about the responsibilities for your aspirational positions and even write a cover letter or two for those positions to help you understand how you’d fit into the role. Some people toss a cover letter together at the last minute — missing the powerful role the letter plays in decision-making for most hiring managers.
When you customize a cover letter for the company and the position, you do more than just showcase your talents and abilities — you show how these can be a solution to their needs and wants. This, in turn, helps you better understand and articulate your own needs and wants, as well, so that when you are ready to take the next step in your plan for advancement, you have the confidence of knowing why both you and the job are a good fit.
By amplifying the voices of women in the workforce, news and social media have been substantial influencers in changing the way women are treated professionally. But change doesn’t happen overnight — and perceptions and opinions about working women are often subtle and deeply rooted. Chances are likely that you will encounter sexism in your lifetime — a recent study found that 42 percent of working women experience gender discrimination on the job.
Managing sexist behavior or gendered comments can be intimidating and nerve-wracking, especially when they come for people in a position of power. Whenever you or someone else feels uncomfortable, fed up, or harassed, you should engage your organization’s human resources team. You should never feel like you have to tolerate someone’s sexist comments. You can also help defuse emotions and model appropriate behavior by practicing comments for in-the-moment situations.
Shattering Glass Ceilings
Every company has one — the proverbial glass ceiling that few can see but all women can feel. Is your executive leadership team all male? Are your male counterparts paid more than you for doing the same job? It’s pretty common: In 2017, female workers only made 80.5 cents to the male-earned dollar — and that number hasn’t changed much over the years.
If you want to push through glass ceilings, you have to be prepared to take risks, stand up, and often stand alone. Women are 18 percent less likely to be promoted than their male coworkers, but age and ethnicity can sometimes play a role, too. You can peel back these layers of discrimination by:
● Not accepting the status quo. Don’t stand by when someone tells you that “this is just the way things are done here.” Chances are other people feel the same way you do.
● Easing people through the idea of change. If your leadership is resistant to change, you may have to take a more thoughtful, methodical approach to showing them why it is important to have diverse leaders at all levels.
● Be persistent with your ideas. Recognize when someone is trying to shuffle your ideas into long-term parking lots. Check in often, be proactive about accomplishing tasks, and get others involved.
While women are making strides in the workplace, there is still a lot of work left to be done. Women hold more leadership positions and have higher pay than in the past, and this should bring you hope. It should also encourage and inspire you to continue moving your career forward.
For more inspiring content that supports women, especially moms, visit the Moms, Kids, and Friends blog often.