The following is a guest post from Gloria Martinez of WomenLed.org. Learn more about Gloria at the bottom of this article.
Are you a hard-working woman interested in breaking the glass ceiling with corporate advancement and promotions, while maintaining a stable home life? These tips will help keep you organized and on-track to achieve your goals.
Focus on your strengths, but remember your weaknesses
As a woman, you are statistically less likely to be promoted in the workplace. You are also likely to be paid less than your male counterparts – even if you’ve been given the exact same workload. You can read more about these disadvantages in this Forbes article by Jonathan Webb, which offers collected research from more than two thousand professionals in different countries and industries.
Once you familiarize yourself with the harsh realities of being a woman in the workplace, you have a simple starting task. Make peace with those realities. Understand that, regardless of the unique set of obstacles you face, your goal is to take control.
The time has come to focus on your strengths. Where do you excel in the workplace? Are you a strong organizer, deliberator, or manager? Play to these strengths. Make yourself irreplaceable with useful information, new methods of getting work done efficiently, and valuable expertise. Your manager will have no choice but to consider you for upcoming promotions, for fear of losing you altogether.
Make a list of priorities
It’s important to know where you’re going — just as it’s important to know where you’ve been. Make a list of the priorities in your life. What matters most to you? Understand that your list doesn’t need to start with your career. In fact, recognizing that family or home values might be more important will only strengthen your resolve to improve. Write this list down and confront it when you have to make difficult decisions. It will help guide you.
Set long-term and short-term goals
Priorities are important, but they are secondary to your short-term and long-term goals. These goals are ultimately based on your priorities. They reflect wants and needs that are vital to your idea of success. Maybe your short-term goals revolve around weight loss, work improvement, having a baby, or strengthening your relationship with your loved ones. Your long-term goals might include career advancements or joining a company that offers maternity leave. You control your goals. Sticking to them will only help you break the glass ceiling and impress the people around you. Learn more about setting strong goals through MindTools.
Create a work/life balance that makes you happy
There is nothing more important than your happiness. If you aren’t happy in your home life, you won’t be happy at work. This rule applies for both men and women. In 2014, The Atlantic published an article about the constant struggle Americans face when balancing their work and home lives. To break the mold, get promoted, and stay happy, you need to spend a significant amount of time finding that balance.
Be comfortable in your own skin
Do you walk into the workplace each day feeling self-conscious – as though other people are looking at you, judging you, or thinking about your flaws? Do you feel like you don’t fit in? These feelings of disconnect must be remedied. Consider seeing a counselor, changing your work environment, or improving your home life. All of these methods can help you feel more comfortable in your own skin, leading to better overall focus.
Make your confidence shine
You know your strengths and weaknesses. You know your priorities, goals, and comfort level. As a well-rounded individual, you can be confident in your capabilities and your place within the company. Let this confidence shine by standing up for yourself, taking risks, and trying new things. You might discover something impressive along the way – and you might outshine your male coworkers, too.
Still interested in how women are being held back in the workplace? The Wall Street Journal offers some insights that may help you improve your status.
As a woman, you may sometimes feel as though you’re fighting an uphill battle, both in the workplace and at home. In many instances, you are. Pushing through this battle and overcoming adversity is the first step to a happy, healthy, and successful future.
Gloria Martinez runs WomenLed.org, which celebrates women’s achievements in the workplace and beyond. She believes that while women have made many advancements toward “shattering the glass ceiling,” there is still much to be done. It is her aim to help increase the number of women-led businesses by educating others about the topic.