There are some industries where leadership is still predominantly comprised of men. This doesn’t always mean it’s harder for women to advance, but you need to be proactive when you decide to seek new prospects. Of course, this is good advice even if you aren’t in a male-dominated field. If you’re ready to take charge of your life and start moving forward — whether you’re going for a promotion, making a career switch, or even starting your own business — use these tips to make that next step a reality.
Tip #1 - Market Yourself Wisely
- Create Your Personal Brand: When you start your own business, part of the planning stage is developing your brand. Having a brand is no longer limited to business owners, though. You want to create a personal brand so potential employers know who you are and what you can offer. According to Northeastern University, the key to building your personal brand is to define who you are as a professional. Ask yourself what your best skills are, which projects motivate you, and where you expect to go in the future.
- Tailor Your Online Reputation: Your personal brand is primarily created through your online presence. Start crafting that presence by being active in online communities in your field. Remember that your personal brand is impacted by your entire online presence too, not just the spaces where you engage professionally. Before applying for new jobs, it’s important to make sure your online reputation reflects a positive image because many employers use social media as a way to find out more about applicants. An easy way to develop a good online brand is to get the help of a reputation management company. Their job is to contract with writers who create a large quantity of online content for you, including blog posts, press releases, and articles, that demonstrate your volunteer work, awards, and other accomplishments.
Tip #2 - Connections Are Key
- Network Like a Pro: Staying on top of your networking game is the way to move up within your company, within your field, or make new connections to get “in” when making a career switch. Get in the habit of networking daily to ensure you meet the right people and keep your network continually growing.
- Rely on Support: You work hard to build your network, so don’t hesitate to rely on them for support. According to Forbes, you should utilize these connections every step of the way. If you’re considering a job change or trying to move up, ask advice from a mentor. Making a career switch can be especially scary, but it helps to hear from other women who have successfully achieved this goal.
Tip #3 - Keep Your Skillset Sharp
- Keep Learning: One of the best ways to make sure you’re qualified for that next step in your career is to learn new skills. Some of the skills that are in high demand across industries, and that you can easily learn on your own, are public speaking and computer skills such as graphic design and web publishing.
- Seek New Opportunities: Even if you aren’t ready for a big step up, asking for new opportunities within your company can give you the experiences you will need to eventually make that next move. Some women also find that making a lateral move within their company is a great way to expand their horizons.
Tip #4 - Don’t Hold Back
This may be the most important tip of all — if you’re too afraid to ask for what you want, you aren’t likely to get it. HuffPost explains how many women equate leadership with perfection, so they often hesitate to ask for those positions. Instead of waiting, go for that leadership role now so you can reap the rewards while continuing to develop your skills. Some changes happen that we can’t anticipate, but most of the time, we have to actively seek out new opportunities. Wherever you are in your career, you can’t wait for the opportunity to fall in your lap. Start putting these tips into practice today to create your own success now.
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This blog was written by Gloria Martinez of WomenLed.org