Top Career Lessons from Powerful Women
Everyone wants to be successful in everything they choose to do. The world has evolved into one that is goal-oriented and seeking to make or break anyone who doesn’t put in the very best. Also gone are the times when women were content with being in the kitchen and just taking care of the home and the kids. Now, they want to have careers – successful ones at that.
Past and present most powerful women who have made the Forbes list on several occasions do certain things which have ensured their continual success. Here are tips that applies to not just women, but are relevant to men as well:
Wake up early.
4:30/5am is fine. The children are on holiday now; you will be tempted to sleep in each morning especially if you run your business. Don’t use them as an excuse to wake up early. Make it a habit to wake up early. Starbucks President, Michelle Gass wakes up 4:30am to go running, Longtime Vogue editor, Anna Wintour is on the tennis court at 6am before she goes to work every day. Ehen you say, “This is Naija! Things are different here. They don’t have to do all that I do every morning…” which is more reason for you to wake up early. No excuses. Success comes easier when you have a jump on the day.
Negotiate early and often
When it comes to the issue of salaries, everyone tries as much as possible to dodge it. It has been found that women don’t negotiate as often or successfully as men do. They don’t want to be seen as greedy nor something. This affects their feeling of self-worth.
This is so true. We always want to do things ourselves, at least most women do. But then try delegating some of your tasks and you will see how much more productive work will be. Something as simple as doing the chores seems to get done faster once you delegate to everyone in the house, talk-less of in the work place. Yes, no one can do it the way we would do it most times, but then that doesn’t mean they can’t do it better or relieve us of some of the burden/workload. Try to delegate. Even successful women do that.
Adopt mentors and leverage them
To go far in any career, you will need to have at least one mentor who will guide you through the rigours of career life, there are so many things you can learn from having them. You know you can’t just walk up to someone and say, “Hey will you be my mentor?” what you can do instead is adopt them. After meeting with them, keep in touch via email and then build the relationship from there. You never can tell who they can hook you up with later on.
Stay ever curious
The world is changing at such an alarming rate that you need to keep up with the times, adapt to the new environment, and always learn the new ways of doing things. Ask questions always. You don’t understand this, ask questions. You don’t know how to use QuickBooks software to sell in your store, ask someone to teach you. You just found out coding is increasingly important these days at your work place, look for a way to learn. Flow with the tide. Stay ever curious.
Keep yourself open, and approachable. People who work underneath you should be able to approach you with ideas, suggestions and even pain points. Hire people who are smarter than you are and listen to what they have to say. You will be better off.
Set career goals
You need to set career goals, the same way you set goals for your life, else, you will be whipped and tossed by the waves of the corporate world. Come up with goals; long-term and short term to guide you along the process. Where have you been? Where are you now? Where are you going to? What are the right assignments and/ tasks that will get you there? Work in alignment with such.
What do you want out of your career? First pinpoint this, then stand up and go after it. A lot of people have gotten jobs by dropping their cvs in every office within a 3 block radius, others haven’t. Some have gotten promotions by merely asking for it. If they can do it, why can’t you? Yu want something, go for it. You never can tell who is watching all your efforts and actions. Be courageous.
Get comfortable with the word “No”
Cosy up to the word “no”. Sometimes you will need to say it. This is one of the toughest words women utter. Don’t be a people pleaser. It would only come and bite you in the behind. You want to get ahead at the office, don’t take on so much workload that you fall ill or inconvenience yourself to a great extent. Learn to say “no” when the need arises. It’s not insubordination, or being wicked to your fellow colleagues, it is you standing for what is right and not burning yourself out unnecessarily.
You have been told “no” so many times, you have finally grown a thick skin. This notwithstanding, you till need to be persistent. You want something, go for it, – especially if it is right. You want that contract or a certain kind of project which would most likely boost your career? Go for it. Success takes patience, stamina and persistence. No matter the amount of the no’s you get, keep at it.
Are there any other tips you have? Please share in the comments section.