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Eleanor Roosevelt once delivered a simple and empowering message: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” When it comes to career advancement, do we women inadvertently get in our own way? Laura Hall, founder and career counselor at Career Compass Global, offers a few specific tips to help women address some of the circumstances that may keep us from reaching our goals.
Create the workplace culture you seek
This may seem counterintuitive at first, but you can begin by championing someone else’s accomplishments. Helping to create a work environment that supports the achievements and hard work of others on the team only stands to benefit everyone in the long-run. Don’t be afraid to bring positive energy to the office by touting others when they deserve it.
Talk to your supervisor about your short- and long-term goals
Every employee should have a job description, a career development/performance plan, and periodic evaluations. These tools can be used to guide you toward reaching your goals.
- Engage in open and frequent dialogue with your supervisor about your current work and your long-term goals. If you seek a promotion in the company one day, share that desire with your boss and ask what you might need to do to reach that goal.
- Read your current job description. If it does not reflect the job you actually do, there is no way to measure your success. Discuss changes with your supervisor.
- Review these professional development aspects when you meet for evaluation. They are tangible evidence of success in your current role as well as validation for your promotion goals.
Set your goals and keep track of your progress
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day responsibilities and not focus on our professional development. In doing so, we sell ourselves short.
- Take the time to maintain a list of what you’ve done — trainings, certifications, goals accomplished.
- Ask yourself what skills you need to acquire in order to stay on top of your game. Sign up for opportunities to develop those skills.
- Join professional organizations related to your field of work. Get to know what’s happening outside of your office. You’ll not only show initiative for learning but will bring fresh ideas to your work.
Find an accountability partner
Select a friend, mentor, or career counselor to guide you toward your goals. “I have a friend who also owns her own business, in a totally different field, and we meet monthly,” Laura says. “This is the time we talk about our vision, the bigger picture, and we give each other assignments to do before we meet again. We hold each other accountable for our progress.” Consider who this person might be for you.
A career counselor, like Laura, can guide you not only toward a new position but can help you attain the goals you’ve set for the role you currently hold. “Women are not always comfortable championing themselves. I help them see it’s not just about self-promotion,” Laura says.
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