Society has come a long way in the past century. Now, nearly 40% of women around the world participate in the workforce. Nonetheless, the ever-present glass ceiling remains as gender stereotypes and biases (e.g., negative, benevolent, agentic, etc.) have yet to be overcome.
So, as a young woman entering the workforce, how do you navigate the challenges ahead? How do you lay the foundation for a career that leads to advancement and fulfillment? Graceful Story offers some practical tips to get you going in the right direction.
Keep your resume current
The first step of blazing your trail in the workforce is to create a resume that is well-written and organized. Without a quality resume, you’ll be hard-pressed to get your foot in the door anywhere. Learn the art of writing a professional resume that stands out, or use a professional resume builder to guide you along the way.
Along with the resume, you also need to know how to write a great cover letter for each employer and position you apply for. While creating a cover letter template can help you apply for jobs faster, it’s essential that you tailor each cover letter to the specific position in question. This is an area in which hiring a professional could prove beneficial. Look into resume cover letter services to get you off to a strong start.
Build an undeniable brand
The best way to shatter stereotypes and break barriers is to put everything you’ve got into developing your brand. Indeed suggests making yourself indispensable for anyone you work for. Learn your craft so that you’re better than everyone else around you. Project confidence at every turn, and be enjoyable to work with. If you make a name for yourself in these areas, you’ll find that the obstacles become fewer and less severe on your journey.
Make a plan
As a woman, you may experience more ups and downs throughout your career than men do. It’s essential that you have a big-picture perspective of your career trajectory, as well as a detailed plan for how you will handle challenges that come your way. Be flexible, but maintain a structured plan so that you can reference it and stay motivated. For example, if you are in business or IT and determined to have a significant change in your salary in the next five years, devise a plan to make it happen. This could mean adding certifications, or even going back to school. Getting a master’s degree is one of the best ways to grow your skill set and increase your earning potential.
Grow your network
Finally, prioritize your professional network. You won’t get too far if you try to do everything yourself. As Bright Network points out, connections matter. Constantly network with other workers in your current company, in your community, and in your industry as a whole. Go to conferences and make yourself available for conversation when you go out into the community.
Of course, there will be times when you cannot connect in-person, or prefer not to. When conditions require you to stay close to home, you can join online groups and have virtual meetings as part of your networking efforts. Meeting people and introducing them to your work will help you establish your brand and create opportunities for your advancement.
As a woman, you’ll probably encounter various challenges in the workforce that men never encounter. The key is to make a name for yourself and keep pushing toward your goals. Along with following the tips above, keep researching how you can break barriers on your journey, and tap into mentorship programs and other resources to help you along the way. Remember not to get discouraged if advancement seems to be taking longer than you expected; persevere, and stay confident.
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