For the modern, working woman, the sky is the limit. Female professionals have more than proved their capabilities, and offset prejudice in order to secure regular promotions and accomplish great things in their chosen field. But with ambition levels higher than ever, many working women aren’t satisfied with remaining in the same positions, and are aiming to reach the next level. Whether this means striving for that managerial job or gunning for the CEO position, there are numerous opportunities available and women know exactly where to look for them within the industry in which they excel.
But as a female professional, how can you ensure you lock in that next big career move, and beat the competition to the role of your dreams? Here are some imaginative, ‘out of the box’ suggestions that will have you well on your way to the top of the career ladder.
First, work out what the ‘top’ of the career ladder looks like for you
So you’ve established you want to be at the top of the career ladder in your chosen field, but what exactly does this mean to you? Does it mean a six figure salary, an impressive job title, status or just more responsibility? Once you’ve got this straight in your head, you can commence the preparation and planning for your career advancement goals.
Yes, you just read that right. Although volunteering when you’re already successful and well respected in your field seems ludicrous, it’s no longer unusual. With competition for job roles sky high, any bit of extra experience, or demonstration of added passion for your sector will tip the scales in your favor, as well as showing your employer your compassionate side – never a bad thing!
Moreover, not only does volunteering show extra dedication and enthusiasm, the experience you gain will be invaluable. Doing things outside of your normal job description will allow you to spend time outside your comfort zone, picking up new skills.
Ben Freeman, writer at www.theknowledgeacademy.com says “Obviously we’re not encouraging you to man the lemonade stall at your local church fete, but an example of a great way to utilize your free time volunteering would be to gain a place on a schools board of governors; this will enable you to hone social skills and gain contacts, in turn enhancing your working portfolio and profile.”
Just because you’ve been in the retail industry for years, doesn’t mean you have to stay put. Many other industries require the same easily transferable skills – media, journalism or PR for example, would be perfect for a simple and smooth transition. Don’t be afraid to diversify and expand your horizons – change is good – and the responsibilities of a managing director in the retail industry is the same as in marketing. If you feel a certain industry is thriving or you hear of an opportunity which suits you in another sector, then by all means take a step in another direction and go for it!
One word: Network
Why is this so important, you ask? The recruitment industry has changed drastically over the last ten years; the traditional see-job-and-apply system is no longer in use for every single job. Some major-league, top-level positions won’t be publically advertised, or if they are, they won’t be well known or easy to stumble across.
Ensure you are networking sufficiently and presenting yourself well, and do so as often as you can. Even if you don’t have the time to attend every single industry specific event put on, you can use social media as a fantastic tool for this. Take a presentation, give a talk or contribute to forums and articles online in order to meet new people and make your voice heard. Upraise your profile and your prospects will elevate, too.
Acquire knowledge while moving horizontally
If there are no positions available upwards on the career ladder, then don’t worry. Taking a side step can be just as good – taking up a new role where you are able to learn and progress will give you a chance to gain skills, therefore giving you a better chance of securing a top level position when an opportunity does become available.
Furthermore, what may seem like a lateral job move on first inspection can actually be a job of the same title, but with more responsibility, a larger team to manage and maybe even a greater salary. Liked this article or found it helpful? Share it with your friends using the social share buttons below and or post a comment to let us know your feedback or any addition using the comment form below…