The executive world of Fortune 500 companies is one still dominated by men; while the glass ceiling is slowly being broken, the concept still remains. In this blog post we will identify five ways in which a woman hopeful of executive workplace status can begin climbing the corporate ladder.
1. Do the dirty work.
If opportunities are not being given to you, create your own by offering to work on special projects or taking on additional work outside of the scope of your daily responsibility. You will gain recognition within the organization and have an opportunity to work with others and/or departmental affairs that perhaps would not intersect in your daily professional life. Develop a reputation as a go to problem-solver or key resource for new programs. Your resume will thank you for the new skill set and potential employers will embrace you if your current employer doesn’t recognize your hard work. Be careful to manage expectations and your workload accordingly.
2. Have clear cut goals.
Sheryl Sandberg encourages women to “Lean In”. During an interview with 60 minutes she proposes a reason for why there are so few women at the top: the problem she says might just be women themselves. Regardless of where you are on your current journey up the corporate ladder, it is essential to create clear and manageable goals for yourself professionally. Think out your strategies and define your aspirations in an effort to create a professional road map of sorts to help guide you from one position or project to the next. Reach out to other executives within your organization or externally to interview them as to how they achieved their career path. If possible, find a champion or mentor to keep you on track.
3. Don’t trap yourself.
Working in an environment that makes you unhappy is counter-productive to corporate and professional goals. If you are feeling unfulfilled in the workplace, or feel as though your advancement can no longer take a step forward, consider leaving and finding an environment that will continue to allow professional growth and development.
4. Dress well.
First impressions make a difference, and by dressing as though you already work from the corner office, you will help others believe that you belong there.
5. Act the part.
Executives are known for doing business both in and out of the office. They meet over happy hours, tennis matches, or a game of golf at the local country club; consider taking on hobbies and learning skills that will help you play the part both in the office and out. Go golfing with your coworkers or host a dinner party. Be sure to always maintain a professional persona and keep in mind that perception is reality. Women in the workplace will be expected to hold their own among their male coworkers if they want to be taken seriously as executive material.
While we are not the first to write about women climbing the corporate ladder and advancing in the workplace, these five tips are sure to set professional women on a path for corporate success.
The talent acquisition team at Menlo Partners Staffing is happy to answer your questions about recruiting, temporary staffing, and workforce management. Contact our office today, Menlo Partners Staffing, a Redwood City based temp agency at (650)752-6193.