It’s not just about paying the bills. We all want to move mountains and make a difference in our careers. We want to be an essential part of the wheel that drives the success of the company. But how do we get there? What are the key commandments for working women?
stay true to who you are
Why would you want to be someone other than your real self anyways? The stay-true-to-yourself rule applies to everything in life, but particularly in the professional world. Sure you have to “fake it till you make it”, but there is a big difference between exuding confidence and lying about it. Playing a role most of the time is very exhausting. Plus you will be caught eventually. Push it forward with your own, distinct personality and skill set. There’s nothing more attractive than that, and you’re the only one with that combination.
develop salary negotiation skills
Always negotiate for more money when you first get a job offer. It’s only going to be harder the later you leave it, and your salary increases will likely be a percentage of your starting salary, so summon the courage and negotiate from the start.
discover your voice and lean in
If you don’t speak up, who will? You’re not the only employee in your office, so don’t expect your peers to recognize your hard work if you don’t share it with them. No one cares more about your achievements than you do, so be proactive and voice them to your managers. Subtlety is crucial, as is the timing of when you tell people. Pick your moments wisely.
know your skill set and use it often
The people who excel in any company are the ones who are self-aware and understand where their skills can be best used. When you know your own strengths, you’re better equipped to apply them. You also need to be aware of your weaknesses and how to improve them. Evaluate your own performance often, be aware of what you need to build on, and act. If you want to have more power and / or a higher income, then you have to earn it.
adjust your expectations early
Set short- and long-term goals from the beginning. You can’t steer a straight course for success if you don’t know where you’re going. Be realistic in your expectations, though.
maintain a work life balance
Being successful in your career is a huge part of your life, and you want all that time, energy, and passion to be recognized. But your personal life needs just as much attention. Make an effort to keep in touch with family; they are your strongest support system.
learn to take criticism
When it comes to business, nothing should ever be taken personally. Sometimes it can be really tough, when you open an email from your boss that details all the mistakes you did in your recent assignment. Learn how to take the critique as part for the creative course; it’s the only way you’re going to improve. You can read more about how to handle criticism HERE.
What are the quintessential commandments for working women in your opinion?
Photo by Rick Robillard