What Every Working Woman Should Know

Career advice for Women who work.

The recent years have seen women grow bigger than before, breaking the stereotypes, they have proved themselves, and have advanced and penetrated the market as entrepreneurs, CEOs, managers, and highly skilled and popular professionals who inspire women of all ages today. Their struggle is a lesson for all women planning to reach the same level of success. Following are some tips that would help these motivated women to reach their goals and climb up the corporate ladder, and prove themselves.

Strive to be knowledgeable

Knowledge is critical, being prepared is the best option for you. In-depth knowledge of your work domain helps you get your work done. Once you are talking facts and figures, your conversations are meaningful and create the right impact for you on your colleagues. 

Margaret Morford, 50, of Brentwood, Tennessee, Vice President of Human Resources for a large distribution company, said, "I took the same finance for non-financial manager’s course three times until I got it. I used that financial knowledge to demonstrate Human Resources' impact to the bottom line. Once I started speaking in numbers, the senior managers in my peer group began to view Human Resources as a business partner rather than an administrative drain on revenues."

Remember Who You Are

In a study, a staggering seventy-nine percent of women said that they wanted "the freedom to be myself at work." Women leader, Pam Judd, age 53, shared that shortly after she started working for Levi's, Pam was advised by her boss that if she wanted to lead, she shouldn't be nice. Pam being a person with all the “nice” traits - caring, empathetic - ignored this advice, and chose to be herself, and stayed the same. Now, 33 years later, she is the sales director, and one of the top female leaders in her company, and still very nice.

Communicate Superbly

Communication is a key factor in anyone’s success. One should be clear in their communication. Dr. Pat Heim, author of Invisible Rules: Men, Women and Teams, mentions "women often use hedges, disclaimers and tag questions in their speech to involve the other person and maintain the all-important relationship in female culture. When men hear this, they incorrectly assume a woman either does not know what she is talking about, or that she is insecure about her ideas."

Lisa Steiner, Vice President, Brown-Forman Corporation, Louisville, Kentucky, said "In my experience, women who regularly ask for advice and are tentative are viewed as needy - not the best perception if your goal is to reach the top." Steiner went on to add, "It has taken me years to refine my decision-making skills but now I have learned not to second guess myself."

You Can't Have It All If You Do It All

The biggest hurdle that women face is to manage their kids and a career. While men have tough professional and private lives, women have to shoulder all the household and child care responsibilities and have to face the career consequences as well. Working women are more likely than men to:

  • Employ outside services for domestic help
  • Share personal responsibilities with a partner
  • Use childcare services
  • Rely on supportive relatives other than their partner
  • Curtail personal interests

Being a successful women necessitates planning careers and resisting the attempt to do everything. 

Honor the Female Advantage

Sharon Patrick, former President and COO, Martha Stewart Living, is quoted saying, "We can't ignore a million years of history - at the office or in the living room. Men hunt, women gather." This holds true, it is an attribute of the modern hunter, forming the newer version of what we like to say on being competitive "going for the jugular and then inviting you out for a beer afterwards."

Nicki Joy and Susan Kane-Benson, authors of Selling is a Woman's Game, women are more encouraging towards harmony and agreement, consulting with professionals, employees and peers to make an informed decision, and making personal associates with others at work.

These tips come from successful women who have struggled and achieved corporate success at their levels. They inspire all the women around us to be more focused and informed about the things that a women has to endure and go through at the workplace.