3 Actions women should take to get that next-level job
There are whole raft of things that hold women back in their careers most of which will relate back to self-doubt, lack of confidence and fear of failure.
All of these things can be addressed as they are not insurmountable and just require some mindset shifts.
Here I have shared 3 of the most common challenges women need to address if they want to have a great career.
- Prove your potential
As women we like to be brilliant at our jobs. We do our best, go the extra mile and become fantastic at our current job.
We work hard and put in long hours. We are loyal and like the stability of long term relationships. We love the feeling of being relied upon and be important within our team because it makes us feel wanted and part of something.
But this loyalty and desire to excel in our jobs is actually holding us back.
It is good to be a loyal employee but not TOO loyal. Your first priority should be YOU and your career.
Being too loyal just chains us to our job. We feel bad about leaving our colleagues or our team and so we stay.
Staying loyal keeps us in a job for too long. We get known for the person who is great at that job and we get pigeon holed. We become relied upon and other people don’t want us to leave. We get scared of change and end up staying in our lovely, safe comfort zone.
Then when you add in the fact that we are all consumed by excelling at our job and being the best we can at it this is a recipe for a long, dull career that doesn’t challenge us or fulfil our potential.
In order to excel at our jobs we work long hours, we perfect tasks and we commit ourselves 100% to this job leaving no time or energy to focus on developing ourselves into the next-level job.
Excelling at this job only proves that you can do this job.
The next-level job needs very different skills and so we need to find ways to prove we are capable of doing the tasks that are required for that job.
That means taking on tasks from your manager, attending meetings where you observe how the next-level work, getting involved in projects that develop your skills.
This means taking on more responsible work even if you’re not paid for it. See it as free learning.
It might mean that you need to do a more average job of your current role in order to create time and energy to do these things. But it will be worth it.
Everything you do should be about finding ways to prove your potential for the next-level role.
- Apply for that senior-level role – even if you don’t meet 100% of the criteria.
We women tend to stop ourselves applying for jobs because we think we need to meet 100% of the criteria or because we don’t have enough experience.
We stop ourselves applying because we worry about rejection but even more, we worry that we might get the job and then not be able to do it.
We stop ourselves applying because the salary is higher than we think we are worth!
This is FEAR stopping us.
We don’t want to look silly, be humiliated or fail.
The truth is that we are all so much more capable than we believe and we have to get out of our own way and believe in ourselves more.
We have so many skills and a huge amount of experience and passion to bring to the table. We have great ideas and opinions, and we want to make a bigger difference.
Take some time to reflect on all of the skills you have, it will be a long list and remember that most of your skills will be transferable.
Gather the evidence of all of the achievements you have made so that you realise how good you are.
Then when that dream job comes along just go for it.
Prepare for it, practice for it then do your best interview on the day.
The only way to make a bigger difference and earn more money is to climb the corporate ladder where you will have the authority and scope to make changes that really have an impact.
- Get comfortable selling yourself
As women we don’t like to sell ourselves. We feel that it’s showing off, it’s arrogant and an ugly behaviour.
But this is why we don’t get jobs over other candidates.
It is often not the best person that gets the job but the person that is best able to sell themselves when it counts.
We have to get more comfortable with selling ourselves and sharing our achievements otherwise we will struggle to climb the career ladder.
One thing that we need to start with is improving the collection of evidence. It is vital that we keep records of our successes and we are really bad at this. We are so busy doing a great job that we forget to stop and notice that we have done.
When we are clear on our successes we then need to start feeling proud of what we have achieved so that we can talk about these amazing results without feeling big headed.
We need to be claiming our achievements by using “I” and not “we”.
We need to say “thank you” and not “oh, it was nothing” or “it was a team effort”
We need to be sharing our successes at every opportunity, in 121’s, reviews, meetings, conversations and most importantly in interviews.
Selling yourself effectively is what will get you the next-level role.
Put these three things into action and you will be successful in getting that next-level role.
Best of luck