July 20, 2017 By Jen Mathews
November 14, 2016
Show Work Who’s Boss, Ladies!
This year, for the first time in history, the United States had the opportunity to elect a female president. Despite your personal politics, the fact is, it was one of the tightest and most contested elections ever. And In recent weeks, women have made headlines for everything from politics, to running major companies, to doing good around the world. So I’d like to keep this wonderful momentum going with some advice from the talented team of females who work on join.me. I asked them to share their perspectives on how women in the workforce can best Show Work Who’s Boss.
I’ll start off with my own point of view, for those of us at the beginning of our career. First, network. Make friends! Networking goes a long way professionally. It helps to improve communication, and facilitates collaboration which is great for your career and for the business overall, especially if you work in a company where visibility is key. Second, don’t be afraid to challenge others or the directions you are given. But keep in mind that not everyone appreciates to be challenged. I have found that the best way to put this is “It’s not what you say, but how you say it” (I am still learning this one…). Last, don’t compete with each other, empower one another! Instead of wasting time and energy being judgmental, strive to be an inspiration to others.
My biggest advice is that successful leaders tend to think about outcomes first and foremost rather than process. When you think out of the box and forge a new path to achieve the goals, others will follow!
My advice to women in the workplace is not necessarily anything groundbreaking, but something I need to continue to remind myself of. As women we tend to have a habit of apologizing and feeling bad about things. We feel guilty asking for a raise, or shy about asking for someone’s time. Depending on your role, you may feel intimidated to stand behind what you believe is the right answer. We often use words like, “just” or “maybe” or apologize for interjecting your thoughts on a matter. It is important we remember that this can diminish what we are saying. We are not “just checking for an update” we are simply “looking for an update.” Don’t be “sorry to bother you, but…” just ask politely for a moment of time. Be confident in your power and your capability. This is especially important in male dominated workforces. Work hard, be confident, and most importantly, believe in yourself. The best way to do this? Make sure you know your role better than anyone else – never stop learning and bettering yourself. Do the right thing and the world is yours!
My biggest piece of advice is to always know what you want and be able to defend that with confidence. If you feel strongly about something, be confident and support your opinion, even if others (even those more senior) challenge you. Most of the time, even if people don’t agree with you, they will respect you more in the long run.
A few years ago I had a sort of revelation about what it means to be a woman in the workforce. Having just come back from maternity leave, I was struggling to be the best mom, wife, professional…pretty much everything except the best “me.” I figured I’d get the most bang for my buck professionally if I started paying closer attention to the way my male colleagues worked. I learned two things: First, stop apologizing for things when you know you are on to something good. Stop using words like, “I believe I can,” or “I really feel like,” and get crisp. “I will do this.” Because you are going to do this. Second, don’t let your new found sense of power lead you astray. Remember that being a woman is powerful. Some of our best attributes, ability to moderate, ability to empathize (and of course this is a huge generalization!), come from being a woman. Embrace it. Be proud, and most of all, remember to be the best YOU. You are more than just “woman” or “man.” The bottom line is: stop thinking of everything in masculine feminine terms.
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