Many women want to further their careers, whatever your chosen profession or industry, but can find it difficult. Many times women tend to feel the imposter syndrome, or struggle to take the risks needed to achieve the next steps in their career.
We spoke with Anna Barsby, former Chief Information Officer at Halfords about her top 3 tips for women professionals wanting to propel their careers.
Harness your traits
Know what you are good at and what you aren't good at. Knowing what strong qualities you can bring to a job and highlighting them can help you get recognised by employers. It is not always about your technical skills either. It's equally important to harness your softer skills and traits as a woman. This makes us unique compared to our male colleagues.
"In my early career I was very driven. When I had children I relaxed more with my softer skills and I’ve been much more successful in my career ever since. Getting in touch with my natural skills, and harnessing those traits, helped me advance further," Anna said.
Also, by acknowledging the areas you may not be as good in, you can focus on developing them and changing those traits in a positive way.
Be bold and take risks
When it comes to your career you are in the driver's seat and it's so important to put yourself out there and take risks.
Anna commented, "Taking risks is crucial for women. When looking for a job, women will only apply if they meet all the job requirements of a role whereas male candidates will look at it and think 'oh I can do half of it, I’ll apply'."
It is taking these risks that can propel your career to the next step and open opportunities you didn't realise you even had.
"Early in my career I stayed in a role for about 3 years then moved on because of my desire to take the risk and gain new experiences and new skill sets. More people need to do that, its important that we are bold,” Anna continues.
Confidence is key
Following on from risks, its integral to be confident in yourself and your work. Even if you aren't looking for that next step now, be confident in the work you are producing.
This does not mean you don't want to ask for help and guidance, but when it comes to your responsibilities know that your employer wouldn't have hired you if they didn't believe you could do it. So make choices and decisions with confidence to help drive your role forward. When it comes to your career you are in the driver's seat and its so important to put yourself out there and take risks. It is taking these risks that can propel your career to the next step
By being confident in your work, and not afraid to let your employer know when you've gone above and beyond you will start to get noticed more within the workplace.
As well, confidence will help you to take more risks. Its a positive cycle.
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