Achieving Success As A Woman In Business
Do you have a closet full of power suits, an impressive college degree, and a burning desire to shatter “glass ceilings” and scale your way to the top of the business world? Don’t let your gender and the hearty guffaws of the old boys hold you back. More and more women are taking the reins of major corporate entities–and you could be next.
But before you slap on your best blazer, grab your briefcase, and head out to conquer the nearest boardroom, there are a few things you should know.
You Will Need to be Assertive
The business realm is not for the meek. If you hope to commandeer a company, you will need to be forthright, frank, and willing to fight for what you want. This does not equate to completely abandoning your softer side and adopting an uncomfortably aggressive stance. It simply means that you will need to stand up for yourself, ensure that your voice is heard, and that you receive recognition when it is deserved. Floor mats need not apply.
You Will Need Optimism
If you are going to succeed in the fickle field of business, you will encounter everything from minor glitches to giant mistakes. And the only way you will survive with your sanity and your self-esteem intact is to get up, pick the gravel from your knees, and carry on. When Woman’s Day magazine asked Lori Greiner, QVC Queen and Shark Tank‘s less carnivorous shark, what gets her through the tough times in her career, she responded that she “always tries to look at the bright side of a bad situation and see what she can learn from it.” This sounds like good advice.
You Will Need to Have a Life
All work and no play makes even the most upbeat businesswoman a dull–and very worn-out–girl. You will need to learn to prioritize your life, nurture your personal relationships, take care of your health, and schedule time dedicated solely to doing the non-work related things that matter to you. This means learning to say “no.”
Forbes‘ “10 Traits of Women Business Leaders” points to Yahoo!’s CEO, Marissa Mayer, as a prime example of a female business leader who has figured out how to make the puzzle pieces of professional and private life fit together by becoming the first pregnant CEO of a Fortune 500 company in 2012–proving that you can have it all.
You Will Have to Love It
Shattering glass ceilings and being the lone shot of estrogen in a room full of testosterone isn’t easy. If you are going to succeed, you will need to make sure that you are doing what you love with your whole heart. As philanthropist Cecilia Ibru advises, it’s something that you must do and enjoy, otherwise it will eat you up.
You Will Need to Keep Learning
The business world changes at an alarming rate and, as a result, your skills will require continuous updating. Furthermore, if you want to keep one step ahead of the competition, you will need to be constantly innovating and creating–and this requires you to become a lifelong learner. And, if you do not have an MBA under your belt, you may wish to consider acquiring one as many top execs purport that getting an MBA greatly enhanced their career trajectories.
You Will Need to Pat Some Backs
No one succeeds without the help and support of others. And, if you wish to maintain a loyal camp of allies that “have your back,” you will need to show them that they are appreciated. Share recognition, reward hard work, and be gracious to your team members. It will not only make you a better person to work for and with, but it will also ensure that your workforce remains motivated and productive. And you will look good to your superiors in the process.
If you possess these qualities in abundance, you may have what it takes to become the next business mogul or Shark Tank shark. So grab your blazer and get dressed for success. There are boardrooms and old boys waiting to be conquered.
Are you trying to juggle the demands of starting your own business and raising a family? You will want to check out “How to Build a Business While Building a Family.”
About Author: Kimberley Laws is a freelance writer and avid blogger who remembers the day when power suits had shoulder pads that were so huge they actually touched her earlobes. You can follow her at The Embiggens Project,Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+.