Making it to the top of the corporate ladder is rarely easy. Even with all the progress made towards gender equality in the last several decades, women still face a number of additional challenges when trying to compete with their male counterparts. The following tips can help any woman seize control of her life and excel in her entrepreneurial career.
Work Out What You Want to Do in the Long Term
If you want to achieve everything you are capable of in your entrepreneurial career, you need to have a clear idea of where you are hoping to end up and what you hope to achieve. Many women are so focused on the immediate demands of their job that they are only ever looking at the next immediate step.
However, while it is always good to look forward, you should be looking beyond the immediate future and considering where you are expecting to end up several years from now. Women who only ever consider the most immediate next steps are more likely to one day find themselves in a dead end career.
Remember, progression for the sake of progression isn’t necessarily the right move for you. Just because a promotion comes with extra money and a new title, that doesn’t mean you should do it. If, for example, taking that promotion will mean that you start working less sociable hours and have to rethink existing commitments in your personal life, it’s possible that the benefits of the promotion won’t be worth it for you.
Of course, many women are able to lead very fulfilling and worthwhile careers while essentially winging it. If your personality leads you more towards this way of doing things, things might currently be going great, but it is always good to have a long-term plan. Having a clearly defined goal will give you something to help you make the most difficult decisions in your career.
Learn to Embrace a Challenge
Sometimes, we want nothing more than to play it safe. Sure, we all admire those women who are constantly challenging themselves, taking risks and reaping the rewards for doing so. But when things are challenging in your personal life, what would normally be a welcome challenge in your professional life can end up being a major source of stress and anxiety for you.
If you can strike the right balance between taking risks, challenging yourself, and maintaining a healthy and positive outlook, challenges can become prime opportunities to grow and develop. The trick is to be able to differentiate between a healthy, organic challenge and an artificial one.
An example of a healthy and organic challenge would be taking on a bigger order than you are used to from an existing client. On the other hand, an artificial challenge would be trying to fulfill an order from a client quicker than usual because one of your colleagues has failed to do their job properly. The former gives you an opportunity to improve your existing skills and exercise resourcefulness and initiative. However, the latter is only going to make your life more stressful and breed resentment between you and your colleagues.
Try to Stop Procrastinating
Of all the things a woman can do to improve her general productivity, few things are as effective as cutting out the procrastination. Unfortunately, reducing the amount of procrastinating you do is easier said than done. Procrastination takes different forms for different people, and a lot of the time, we don’t even realize that we’re procrastinating until we look at the clock and realize that a whole day has slipped us by.
However, while the specific nature of your procrastination will be unique to you, there are some common triggers that lead to procrastination in many of us. The biggest motivator is the belief or perception that the task we are faced with isn’t actually urgent or doesn’t need to be completed immediately. We can all recall occasions where the chasm of time between now and the deadline leaves us feeling, if anything, too relaxed.
Of course, it doesn’t last for very long. Before you know it, that chasm will have shrunk down to a crack. At that point, the deadline is very much upon you, and all that extra time you gave yourself has gone to waste. No matter how many times we fall into this trap, it seems to be one that trips people up time and again. If you want to reduce the amount of procrastinating you do, this is the best place to start.
Try to get into the habit of completing any tasks you have at the earliest opportunity and giving yourself as much time as possible to complete each thing. Once you are in the habit of doing things straight away, you will start doing it without thinking. When you reach this stage, your efficiency will shoot through the roof with minimum effort on your part.
Get a Business Degree
There are a number of different academic degrees out there that can be of great value to any woman looking to excel in the world of business. Whether you are planning on starting up a business of your own or you want to enter an existing organization at management level, having a degree under your belt can open a lot of doors that would otherwise remain closed to you.
There are a multitude of business degrees for you to choose from. Some of these will only be applicable to those who are working in specific industries, but most will teach students the skills that they need to excel in any business or industry that they choose.
As well as teaching you vital skills that will enable you to excel in the workplace, studying an online business degree is also a fantastic way of spicing up your resume and ensuring that it goes straight to the top of the pile when businesses are looking for new hires. Anything that you can do to set yourself apart from other candidates and show that you are able to offer something they don’t is worth pursuing.
Remember, every day is a new opportunity to reinvent yourself and adopt a completely new outlook and approach to life. If you want to get ahead in business and jumpstart your career, the tips above are a great starting point.