Establishing yourself in the professional world is not easy. More and more determined college graduates are entering the labor pool. This is true for all fields, from business to medicine, education to social work. For women, there are additional barriers to overcome. Women have long been underrepresented in the workforce. For more information, visit Why We Must Continue to Fight for Gender Equality in the US.
As a female, you may face discrimination or stereotypes. No matter what environment you are in at work, you can still flourish. Here are 6 tips to help you succeed in the work environment.
Play to Your Strengths
We all have strengths and we all have weaknesses. Understand which areas you flourish in because your supervisors are not always aware of the breadth of your abilities. You need to actively seek out these tasks. If you are creative, look to help out with marketing. If you are a good public speaker, look for opportunities to give presentations. Confidence is key!
Be a Team Player
Good relationships with your supervisors and colleagues are crucial. Team environments improve workflow, which increases efficient of the company as a whole. In addition, if you are a team player, you will benefit directly as well. You may need to do tasks you dislike or work with individuals you have a hard time getting along with, but stick with it. Supervisors will notice your collaborative nature and be more likely to consider you for leadership roles. If colleagues enjoy working with you, they are more likely to help you out with tasks. This support can be helpful when you are given a task that falls under one of your weaker areas. Thus, each day, converse with your coworkers and lend a helping hand.
Make yourself known. Don’t sit in the back of the room and do the bare minimum. Instead, speak up! Show off your innovation and creativity. If you play it safe out of fear of failure, you won’t get anywhere. Yes, you may have set backs. Not everything will work out perfectly. However, you have to give it a shot in order to progress. Thus, sit in the front row at meetings, raise your hand, share your ideas and volunteer for special tasks. Be brave!
Successful people set goals. You don’t need to map out your entire life, but set major goals you have for yourself in your career. Is there a specific task force you are looking to become a part of? Are you hoping to achieve a certain title? Do you want to continue your education while working? Whatever your goals are, clarify these with yourself. Yes, they may change as you work and learn more about yourself and the field, but it is helpful to have an idea.
Once you have your larger career objectives in mind, make smaller, measurable goals. If your overall goal is to become CEO, working towards that goal without intermediate steps will feel overwhelming and impossible. However, if you make baby goals, you will stay on track and feel more empowered each time you accomplish one of those smaller steps.
Stay True to Yourself
When you are working in a competitive environment, it is easy to lose yourself. Remember your goals. Stay true to your values. If you start acting in a way not in line with your true self, you will become unhappy. This may look like putting work before family, treating coworkers disrespectfully, using others to get ahead, etc. Actions such as these may cause you to dislike the person you see in the mirror.
Work is stressful, no matter which field you work in. Without self care, work will take its toll and make it more difficult to perform. Thus, practicing stress management is essential for your health and wellbeing. When you get home from work, take a hot shower, listen to music or read a book. On your days off, you may have to take care of errands and household chores, but also do activities you enjoy. This may look like hanging out with friends, hiking through nature, going to the movies, etc. You deserve it!
With these tips in mind, you are well-prepared to prosper at work. Remember that you are capable, so don’t let anyone stop you from moving forward. If you are passionate about your career choice, you will find success with determination and handwork!
Until next time,