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14 Oct

A SMART WOMAN’S GUIDE TO CAREER LEADERSHIP

No matter where you are in your career, one thing is certain, modern women have come to understand that career success is not about adjusting to the male-dominated status quo. It’s about changing that status quo by embracing what makes diverse perspectives unique and overcoming the doubts that keep you from reaching your full potential. In order to do this, there are ways that you can maximise your potential and lead in whatever career you are currently pursuing. We are offering you some of the best advice for women who want to dominate their respective careers and get ahead.

NO. 1: SEEK MENTORSHIP 

Find a mentor as early in your career as possible — someone who will encourage you to believe in yourself, to help you devise career goals and a pathway to success, and who will honestly tell you when you’re ready for the next big move (or when you’re not) and help you prepare for it.

NO. 2: NURTURE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

It’s important to understand how valuable maintaining relationships are. Office relationships take time and effort to develop, but those efforts can pay off for everyone involved. In fact, one of the best skills to develop for a successful professional life is the ability to nurture and grow mutually beneficial relationships with your coworkers.

NO. 3: MAP OUT AND BELIEVE IN YOUR VISION

Make sure you map out and truly believe in your vision before you share your vision. So often, due to the excitement of a new venture, we are pulled to share our vision in its infancy stage. This leaves us vulnerable to others who are either reshaping our vision or crushing it. Taking risks in your business or career can be intimidating since there is no surefire guarantee of success. However, if you aren’t willing to push yourself — whether it’s in a corporate setting or as an entrepreneur — you’ll never get off the ground.

You may be shy and introverted but it’s time for you to step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. In starting a business, you have to get out and talk to people, this allows you to take advantage of opportunities that never would have arisen otherwise. Some women hold themselves back due to their fear of the unknown, but you have to take the leap. Don’t miss out on opportunities that come your way, put yourself in a position to have those opportunities, know when one is facing you and take it.

Fear is consistently one of the biggest challenges women say they face in the workplace. These fears, whether it’s about being taken seriously, being inadequate or balancing work and family, often lead to a lack of confidence. Women will try to compensate for these feelings by over-apologizing — a habit that not only betrays their fears but also shows a tacit acceptance of “the way things are.” Shattering your career inhibitions starts with the right attitude. it’s important to embody self-assurance and professionalism in all that you do.

Many women have felt the effects of the gender gap during their careers, whether it was a pay dispute, a lost promotion or just a snide comment from a co-worker. Even if your work environment champions equality, you probably know people who have faced some kind of discrimination, subtle or not, because of their gender. It’s difficult to think this way when cases of gender inequality are talked about in the news and on social media every day, but if women want to be viewed as equal in the workplace, they must stand their ground and demand the respect they deserve — and it starts by behaving as if the gap has been closed.

NO. 7: WHEN YOU LOSE, DON’T LOSE THE LESSON

Dark days are inevitable in some industries, such as the financial services industry, whose primary premise, i.e., lending is built on the promise of hope and better days to come. The litmus test of success here is the ability to pick up learning and march onward as opposed to being bogged down! As the Dalai Lama says, when you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

NO. 8: INCREASE YOUR EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE 

Research shows that raising your emotional intelligence will take you further personally and professionally than anything else you can do. We’re often blind to ourselves and we don’t accurately perceive how we’re being experienced by others. We’re not aware that the impact of what we say and do is often wildly different than our intent. Read up on emotional intelligence, learn how to read a room or engage in individual coaching to accelerate your growth in this area.

NO. 9: TOOT YOUR OWN HORN 

In contrast to men, women are less comfortable showcasing their accomplishments and do less to promote and strategize their personal brand. This has a domino effect because women are not only more humble, they discount their talent and success, while men tend to accentuate their talents. The divide between what an employer thinks an equally qualified man and woman are worth starts with how they present and value themselves in the interview process. Look for opportunities to strategically highlight your achievements.

NO. 10: STOP BEING TOO NICE

As women, we tend toward being nice and accommodating. You will never be seen as a leader if your primary mode of engagement in the workplace is caretaking. One of my favourite books on this subject is “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office“—every woman will identify with at least one of its eye-opening lessons.

Tutu Adetunmbi

Tutu is an avid multitasker and great at organisational effectiveness and with a change in media and a change in fashion together, you have a whole lot of change, but that’s just a fun challenge for an editor! With a degree in Law and Masters in International Law and diplomacy, she took her writing skills into the creative space, visualising and creating fashion & lifestyle editorial content in her field and has never looked back.

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