Building a successful career can be tough. Many factors, like education and acquired skills, influence the outcome of someone’s professional career. Unfortunately, gender is also one of the factors added into this equation.
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Sometimes, women are regarded as weaker and not suitable for certain positions in a workplace, or for work in general. They have a hard time proving themselves and climbing the corporate ladder. Other times, women don’t even get the opportunity to be professionals. Instead, they are stay-at-home moms and housewives. Why is this, you may ask? Well, from time to time, there are people who think a woman’s place is in the kitchen. Her job is to cook, clean and take care of the kids. A woman thinking about a career is ludicrous to those kinds of people.
Luckily, times have changed since the 50s when this kind of thinking was normal. Yes, there are some places where this still stands; however, humankind has relaxed, so to say, and business women, as a notion, are totally acceptable.
Nowadays, you can see more and more women getting their groove on and fighting their way to the top of their companies, or even having their own small businesses. The doors, to the once a boys only club, have finally opened.
Nevertheless, there are still some things to be learned. Small tweaking has to be done here and there. But even though men are far superior in the business world, there are a few aces that women have under their sleeves. So, boys need to pay attention and listen to some advice from the ladies.
1. Don’t Just do What is Expected of You
Don’t try to make other people happy by staying at home and being a housewife or going into a career that you don’t want. Do what you wish and what makes you happy. There is no need to be someone’s servant in life.
If you have a job that you didn’t want in the first place, remember that it’s never too late to change career paths. Take a leap of faith, quit your boring job and search for the thing you actually want to do. If you are smart and innovative, employers will give you a chance. Moreover, if you dreamed of owning your own business, do it. Research the field, start small and eventually, you will expand and be great.
You don’t have a University diploma? No problem. You are not the first person to drop out and exist without a diploma. Every year, you have the opportunity to enroll in a university and finish your education. You can even go to community colleges, it doesn’t really matter; you will get a diploma either way.
It’s never too late to learn and expand your knowledge. Since this is your main tool for your career, every dime and every moment spent on improving yourself is worth it.
Don’t just blab on about things. Learn to listen to people. Try to understand them. When you are in a meeting, pay attention to what is being discussed. Maybe someone is giving you a great pitch, or maybe your boss is asking for something new. Read between the lines. Things are not always straightforward.
What if a colleague is too shy to ask for your help and is telling you this by beating around the bush? Listen and you can help them inconspicuously. They will be grateful that you paid attention and helped them at the same time.
Listening is always great because you can learn something new every day. Imagine if the boss notices your attentiveness and decides to take you on as his protégée or just push you up in the hierarchy. Every step you take will be monitored. Therefore, good communication leads to good outcomes. Show everyone the respect they deserve.
3. Speak up to Get Noticed
The first thing you need to learn is not to be someone’s doormat. If you feel uncomfortable and dissatisfied, speak up! Say what is on your mind. If you want an office, ask for it. You want a bigger salary or promotion? Say it!
Women are often expected not to be heard and to sit quietly. Well, let me tell you something: Nobody puts Baby in the corner!
Women have voices, too, and every right to express themselves. Just remember all the great speeches from movies, let that motivate you and give you the strength to ask for more.
4. Expand Your Playing Field
When coming to a new workplace - be sociable. Make new friends, go out for lunch and coffee with them. That will make you likeable and life in the office would be more bearable. This move can only be beneficial for both you and your business. More friends equal more likability; more likability equals more clients.
The truth is, women have it easier when we’re talking about social life at work. They can be friends with anyone because they are focusing on every single person, from every level, while men are focusing on people with more power and influence because they think that that’s the key to success. What men can learn here is to take a wider look. Expand your contact circles – diversify.
5. Your Looks Matter
Education is chiefly the deciding element when interviewers hire new people. They check your CV, maybe ask for references, private courses are also appreciated; all in all, the set of skills a person has is essential. Yet, there is one crucial thing that can be included in the evaluation process, especially with women. That thing is physical appearance.
This is definitely one thing that women pay attention to. They carefully choose their clothes, shoes and make-up. Women are aware that looks play a big role. Therefore, men can take a page from women’s books and step it up a notch.
Truthfully, this can be one of the strongest cards that women have. Of course, it’s not advised to rely on only that and be that type of girl who will sleep her way to the top. Nevertheless, when the times get hard and when you are desperate, the looks card can be the solution to someone’s problems.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should be slutty and shameless. What is being said here is to pay attention to one’s physical appearance because others will notice it. If you look messy or unprofessional, no one will hire you or let you represent their company.
Society has come a long way since the old decades when there was way more discrimination towards women in business. They were pressured in general, about various things, but having a career was never to be mentioned.
The road to success has been tough. However, we have reached the point when women have at last become better than their teachers. It’s time for men to learn something from women. They need to open up their horizons and be open to equality. Who knows what this move could bring them, and how it could reward them.