By now, most of us accept that women face some specific challenges when dealing with their careers. This is slowly changing, and more and more businesses and industries are beginning to understand and confront the problems women have historically faced in the workplace.
But these gradual changes can be frustrating when you’re trying to advance your own individual career. Here are a few simple, actionable tips women can put in place right away to give their career a boost, whether you’re a business owner, manager, or just starting out on the corporate ladder.
Set Up A Website
If you have your own business (or sell your services as an independent consultant), you’ll already know the importance of owning a website. However, all women can benefit from a bit of personal branding.
A good website can help people find you, allows you to make a good first impression, and boosts your professional image. To make sure it is good, you need to build a quality website, which requires that you carefully research web builders and hosting options. This can seem like a difficult task if you feel like you lack the savvy, but there are some great host providers that are perfect for busy professionals who need extra support. Hosting firms like SiteGround, for example, provide a wide range of custom hosting options and flexible yet affordable packages, and their service can be particularly beneficial for individuals and small businesses. Due diligence here will pay off when you launch a website that elegantly showcases your skills and talents.
Support Other Women
Women supporting each other in the workplace benefits everyone. Women get a network of people they can count on, and everyone else gets a more cohesive and productive work environment. If you want to take it a step further, start a women’s network at your company. Even if it’s just small gatherings to brainstorm, it can be an effective way to provide and receive support.
Start Prepping For Your Next Raise
Asking for a raise doesn’t just happen overnight. There is a lot of groundwork you should put in if you want to maximize your chances of getting what you want. This could include working later, taking the initiative with new projects and mimicking your boss’s work ethic. Start working on this now, and you’ll be much better positioned to ask for that raise in a few months’ time.
Sponsorship Over Mentorship
There are many benefits of having (and being) a mentor. A mentor can be someone who works in the same organization as you and champions you, helping you to create connections and even access concrete opportunities. According to Glassdoor, the power of sponsorship is particularly useful for women and minorities.
Keep A Career Journal
Journaling is a great way to process emotions and ideas, and this can easily be applied to your career. There are many ways a career journal can help you: as a log of ideas and advice, a reminder of successes and compliments, or just a place to vent and set new goals. All you need is 15 minutes of your day and a notebook to start feeling more centered and confident at work.
Network Smart, Not Hard
Few people can claim to genuinely enjoy networking. The good news is you can get the same (or more) benefits from carefully selected events than from simply clicking “attend” to everything reaches your inbox. Check out this article from Forbes which shares how a variety of professionals identify worthwhile networking opportunities.
Know Your Worth
The ability to set your own rates – and thus side step the wage gap – is one of the biggest benefits of being a female entrepreneur. However, many women struggle to get this right, and still end up undervaluing themselves. These tips from I Will Teach You To Be Rich offer some simple, straightforward systems to price your work fairly.
You can never stop learning, and you can never have enough training. Identify what your weaknesses or areas of improvement are, and look for ways to fill those gaps. In particular, focus on any soft skills that could use some help – leadership, communication, problem solving. Since these are closer to character traits and ingrained habits, they can take more effort than simply learning to use a tricky piece of software. But for that exact same reason, soft skills can be some of the most useful and rewarding to develop.
The challenges faced by women are not universal. Every woman faces different problems in her own workplace or industry. However, the strategies outlined here are helpful and applicable to just about everyone. If you are feeling frustrated or stalled in your career, use these resources and actionable points to get things moving in the direction you want.