The gender pay gap between men and women still, unfortunately, exists.
However, women’s salaries are becoming progressively closer to men’s – a move that should be celebrated!
Here are some tips for how you – the working woman – can progress your career:
Networking could be the key to your success. Apart from using social networks and search engines, it’s extremely common to get a job through a friend, family member, neighbour or former colleague. So, perfect your small talk skills and get to chatting with your nearest and dearest.
Promote yourself and, more specifically, don’t be afraid to talk about your strengths. Women are notorious for downplaying their strengths, in fear of being seen as egotistical.
Talking about the qualities you have that make you perfect for a job, however, is not bragging so much as it is simply showing you are confident in your abilities. Employers want to see confidence, especially when considering you for a higher level, management position.
Don’t limit yourself
Pop on some noise-cancelling headphones the next time someone tells you to choose your career or your kids. Moms who choose to continue their career while raising small children are increasingly getting a bad reputation, just as women who choose to stay home full-time with their kids. You might feel as though you can’t win!
There will be naysayers on both ends but it’s important to realise yourself that you can do both. The key is to find the right balance of work and home that works for you. This will be personal for every mother – and father – and integrating your career with your home life could be just the key to keeping you sane.
Perfect your résumé
First, you need to land that perfect job (and then many after that!). Start working on your résumé even before you graduate college. When you do decide what sector to go into, target your résumé towards that. Think about who might be reading it and use language appropriate for that industry.
Also, don’t be afraid to talk yourself up! Highlight the skills you have that would tie in perfectly for the position you’re seeking. For example, if applying for compliance jobs, women should mention their communication skills as well as their more technical abilities, such as the ability of spotting trends in large quantities of data and presenting recommendations based on them.
If you’re after a job in finance, include all your number-crunching qualifications, including any accounting workshops or investment conferences you attended while at university.
Modernise your résumé by choosing a font other than Times New Roman and Arial and, above all, make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Even the tiniest of errors can be distracting and, at worst, could send your résumé to the bottom of the stack.
Increase your confidence
If you feel you are slightly lacking in confidence, don’t rush the progression of your career. Instead, take on more tasks in your current job – voluntarily at first, if necessary – and then work on moving up within the company.
Good presentation skills, a certain level of knowledge of technology and the ability to manage people, not just projects, is important in nearly every leadership role within every company in every industry. So, attend conferences and workshops in these areas if you feel you’re lacking these skills. Then, once your confidence has increased, apply for leadership and management roles within your current company.
Finally, if you feel you’ve achieved all you can with the company you currently work for; don’t be afraid to move on. No professional should take this decision personally, as it’s clear anyone should want only what is best for his or her career. As long as it is done in a respectful way, you should never feel bad about wanting to take the next step in your career.
So, with some careful preparation and a healthy dose of confidence, you can continue your career to just where you want it to be!
Millie Jenkins is a part time solicitor and full time mother of three kids. She has helped smash the glass ceiling while finding that elusive balance between work and family life!