Being an independent woman in today’s age is no small feat. You are expected to carry as much weight as your significant other of the different gender and develop a career for yourself in the process.
Even if you are single, at some point you won’t be, and chances are that your career will take a few steps back because of it.
But before we get into it, let’s ask a simple question: what does it take for a woman to start her career these days? Let’s take a look at some of the tips and trick you can use to stay ahead of the curve and do the best for yourself.
Set personal goals
Being a fresh graduate or someone who is finishing their formal education, you might be wondering what’s next, dreading over the fact that life is waiting for you. Things are not as bleak as you might think, however since career planning is easier now than it was ever before.
Try to put all of your personal and professional goals on paper, anything you can come up with really. Whether it’s bungee jumping or being an executive at a prestigious firm, these are your goals and they define you. Try to add certain timeframes to each one, spanning over two, five and ten years down the line.
Having a clear goal in mind before heading out into the world is very important – without it, you will be lost and start improvising as soon as you step out. Very few people make it in this life by improvising without any thought, so set clear career and personal goals as the first step in your development.
Talk to someone you trust
There is some truth in saying that older people are wiser than us – they have simply been through a lot more than us at this point. This means that they have valuable insight into how to world works, so why not use this to your advantage? Whether it’s your parents, siblings, best friend or a professional consultant, make sure that you talk to someone.
Being independent is important, but it’s also valuable to be smart about planning your career and ask for outsider’s thoughts on in. Sometimes our plans are too ambitious or much less so than we thought. Talking to someone else about it will give insight into how your plans look from outside.
Learn how to compromise
Building a career is going to take more than landing your dream job at twenty-something and staying there until retirement. Careers are built on patience and strong will, but also on learning how to compromise when it’s important. As someone who is starting out, you need to learn how to take less than you initially thought you would get. Accepting a job as a barista or a junior intern doesn’t mean your life is over and dreams crushed. It means that you will be able to afford rent and independence while you look for something more suited for you.
Compromising is difficult for many people because it means that you put your needs second to someone else’s but this is only partially true. Learning how to take the world on little by little is the virtue of truly successful women and this is exactly why you need to take it a step at a time.
Connect with people
Building strong connections and relationships is essential in building your career. You should network with as many people as you can and gain friends all over the city, state, or even the world. There are numerous ways to connect with others – at your job, in public places, in seminars or parties, etc.
Whatever social events you like, make sure that you approach as many people as you can and socialize. These are the people who will owe you favors and who will do favors for you – maybe even help you land that dream job you are aiming for. None of that is possible if you are an unknown, so become someone people will talk about and talk to.
Build a strong resume
Building a strong resume is more than just listing the things you are good at and the things you’ve done so far. The resume you prepare to represent you will always be the first contact your future employers will have when hiring you. This means that it should reflect who you are in the best possible light, without compromises. If you need help writing such a resume (and a motivational letter), you should ask for someone’s help.
Another way to go about it is to use professional online services that can write that resume for you in a quick and straightforward way. Try looking at some writing service review in order to get a better understanding of what you are looking for. Once you have done that, your resume will need constant updating and polishing, because it’s a process without real end, just like your career.
Never stop developing
Being successful is more than just being strong willed. It takes time and effort to develop your skill set into something people will look for. The truth is that your professional and personal career development will never stop. Once you accept that fact, try putting all of your soft and hard skills on paper to see where you stand.
Attending seminars, conferences, and personal training are essential in becoming relevant in the job market that’s overflowing with graduates who never saw more than their schoolbooks. Use every opportunity to develop your skills outside of the field of study you majored in because today’s women need to be all-around fighters who know all the tricks in the book.
Always think in advance
Making decisions in your career path will be some of the most beautiful and terrifying work you will do. It will feel like every decision you make will have a ripple effect that will affect you down the line. You’re not far from the truth. What you need to make absolutely clear to yourself is that you always have to come first.
This will mean saying “no” to a boss who wants you to do even more work than before, it will mean saying “no” to a good job offer because it would require moving halfway across the country, and it will often be unclear whether you made the right decision. Make sure that you always think a few steps in advance and never make rash decisions about your future.
If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t good for you, and as a woman in today’s business world, you need to make a stand for yourself. Just remember to always think clearly before making any major decisions in your career and consider all the options and outcomes.
Trust yourself the most
You will come across many people who want to help you in your career path. Some of these people will be relatives, friends or even bosses who advise you on what to do with your life. You need to take this advice as outside opinions and think about them objectively.
Never let anyone decide for you, whatever the circumstances. You are the person in charge of your life and no one else. Whatever life and career choices you make have to be yours because you are the one who will have to live with the outcomes of those choices, not the people who gave you advice and disappeared. Trust yourself the most, but always ask for opinions and second thoughts – combine these two to create a career path you can be proud of.
Learn how to be patient
The hardest part of building a career is being patient about it. It will sometimes feel like marriage, children, housewife’s life might be a way out. The struggle you will face is unlike anything you have been through before – but it will also be the most beautiful work you will ever do for yourself. Patience is a virtue that takes courage and strong will to perfect, and you will feel like giving up along the way.
You need to remember why you started going down this path in the first place and all those wonderful goals you set in the beginning. No one who gave up halfway has ever achieved them, so if you want to get there, you will need to work hard and be hardheaded about it. No one will understand the struggle you go through as a woman, but it only means that you will become more independent in the process.
As you can see, it takes more than just wishing good things to happen to build a successful career as a woman. Keep in mind that everything you go through during your development will be for a better future and that it will all pay off eventually. Nothing else you ever do will reward you as much as building a stable career for yourself, so take your time and take it step by step. Everything else will come to you in its own time.