10 important career steps
- Have a plan: According to Stephen Covey, "It doesn’t really matter how fast you’re going if you’re heading in the wrong direction.” It's easy to go with the flow, especially if you're getting good pay. But if your career objective is getting further and further off coarse, it's time to set a new course of action.
- Don't be afraid to negotiate salary: Pay is always negotiable. It's what men do all the time, and women need to learn how to do it. Know what you are worth, then be prepared to position your worth by specifically outlining how you can bring benefit to the company.
- Plan for promotions: Promotions don't just happen. You may know what value you are adding to the company, but does your boss know? Keep him or her apprised of what you have accomplished.
- Identify what you do: This is called branding. What skills are you very good at? Make sure people know not just your title but what it is that you actually do. It will not only position you as a value-added asset, but it serves as a way of identifying whether or not you are on the right career path. For example, if you are a marketing manager but want to be a director of communications, focus on your skills as an excellent communicator.
- Network: Men have done this for a long time but it is equally important for women to do it if they want to get ahead. Build a network of important connections within industries. This must be done face-to-face so they know exactly who you are.
- Find a mentor: You know this one, but have you practiced it? Make connections with other successful people who will remember you and take you with them to the top.
- Know when it's time to chance directions: If you're no longer happy in your career field, find out what makes you happy and change directions.
- Education: Changing directions, or becoming qualified for the career you desire often takes further education. If you need a master's degree, get it.
- A word about risks: Don't be afraid to take risks. This means calculated risks, not foolish actions. What stops most women from taking risks is fear of failure. But if you finish your career with no risks and no gain, would you consider this success?
- Support yourself: Stop beating yourself up. Know what you're capable of and what you can achieve. This will empower you.
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