Women at Work: How to get the promotion you deserve
While gender equality in the workplace has come a long way, we’ve still got a bit of a journey to completely smash that glass ceiling.
Statistics show that, still, women almost always lose out to men when it comes to promotions and higher competitive salaries. While this issue is very much cultural and societal - and the onus lies on businesses to lead the way in breaking these ‘norms’ - there are a few things you can do as a female employee to ensure you’re working in a fair and balanced environment, with an equal opportunity to rise up the corporate ladder.
Show your value
Never fail to give your boss a reason (or ten!) to keep you. Do your job well and always go the extra mile. Unfortunately, women often have to work harder than men to get the attention of the higher ups, so show initiative and a desire to improve your leadership skills. Prove that you are capable of taking on bigger responsibilities.
For any employee, it’s also important to continually upgrade your skills and learn new things. Discuss with your boss the possibility of taking online courses to hone your skills that you can apply to your current (and future) job in the company. It’s all about presenting yourself as the complete package for promotion!
Ask and ye shall receive
Generally speaking, women tend not to ask for promotions. Why? There are many reasons, but on a societal level men are typically conditioned to ask for things (like someone’s hand in marriage, for example), while women are taught to wait to be asked. There is a big difference there in how men and women conduct themselves in life - and this transfer over to an office environment.
We see it all the time: when the chance for a promotion comes up, men may not have all the skills required, but they’ll still apply anyway, whereas women won’t.
Sitting and waiting for someone to realise your potential will do you no good. Instead, make it a point to express your desire for a promoted and ask what you can do to achieve that. It’s a matter of knowing your capabilities and letting the company recognise them by being assertive and consistently showing that you are dead serious in climbing up the ladder.
Get a mentor (and use them!)
Ask your boss or anyone who is knowledgeable to mentor you. This person - man or woman - can be a valuable asset to helping you grow as an individual in the company. You can bounce ideas off them; they can provide you with key advice, and help you develop your character as an employee.
Having a mentor is easily one of the most underrated things at work - so if you can find one, hang onto them!
Make the right connections
It’s not about ‘sucking up’; it’s about ensuring the right people know who you are. Don’t embroil yourself in office politics to get noticed, though - just take the time to build solid relationships with both your colleagues, managers and C-level bosses. They are the ones who will be able to advocate on your behalf once you rally for a promotion.
Having a reliable and credible support system makes a big difference in your career. If you have people who can attest to your good character and dedication for work, you’re already a step ahead of everyone else.
Don’t shy away from taking risks
Stepping out of your comfort zone is essential if you really want that promotion. It can lead you to success or failure but either way, it will teach you a lot. Risking will give you an idea of the extent of your potential. Follow opportunities and take chances. Have a great idea about a role you could fill for your company? Research it, write a proposal and present it to your boss. The company might be game. If nothing else, your superiors will notice your willingness to take initiative.
Find your passion
Loving your work is a great motivator. It will push you to strive harder and aim for bigger and better goals. So if you enjoy your work, present new ideas, take ownership and increase your responsibilities. These will not go unnoticed by your boss and can lead you to a promotion. But you must not forget to have fun while working. Wanting to break through the glass ceiling is no walk in the park that is why it is important that you take some time to relax and laugh a little. Feeling satisfied and fulfilled means finding balance between your personal life and work as much as possible. Getting burned out won't help you achieve your goals.