The challenge of entering the corporate world presents unique challenges for women. Here are three areas of concern for females going into the world of work - whether in their 20's or 50's - and expert advice on how to not just survive, but thrive in today's environment.
Women face unique challenges in the workplace that can hold them back from reaching their full potential. Whether you're in your 20s and just starting out or have finished your degree and are preparing to re-enter the workforce, here are some excellent career tips that are all about empowering you in your professional journey.
Know Your Value
Unfortunately, companies are often invested in their own well-being. They consider employees expendable and have high, fixed expectations that cause employees to question their own competence and self-worth whenever they fall short. Do not play down your talents or abilities in an interview or around co-workers. Although it is intimidating, speak up for yourself when others try to speak for you or tell you what to do. Bullying comes from bosses, too, and far too many supervisors abuse their authority and use it as a way to degrade employees, especially females.
Research the positions you're applying to extensively. Learn about the average salary, and make sure you're being offered what your skills are worth. Do not undervalue the potential of your own contribution to a company, and don't speak passively about your achievements. Even if you are entering the workplace with limited experience, speak strongly about your passion, abilities and greatest strengths.
Safety can be a challenge for women in the workplace. Understand that workplace bullying and sexual harassment is never your fault, but you are not forced to just deal with it. Addressing the last point, by knowing your own value, you can set clear boundaries and know how to respond when they've been crossed, or you've been violated. Workplace harassment, especially of sexual nature, is not always as obvious as you expect. Know what kinds of attention cross the line. Inappropriate comments, off-handed remarks, and flirtatious messages passed off as "jokes" are unacceptable. Avoid going in storage closets, parking garages, or stairwells alone, especially after-hours. Workplace safety for women is a major topic of discussion in every industry, and it improves only when women take stands against unwanted behaviors.
Many women either have either a passive or aggressive communication style. The former is rooted heavily in frequent apologies, unspoken feelings and not knowing how to say no to something you don't want to do. Aggressive communicators are defensive and always on-guard, prone to conflict and believe they have to "strike first" and stand their ground to avoid being taken advantage of. You do not have to be "nice" to everyone. Being courteous and respectful is important, but your need to be kind to others shouldn't enable them to be unkind to you. Take ownership of your feelings by using "I" statements. Say "thank you" instead of "sorry," and make eye contact when you're talking to or listening to others.
Getting started in your career can be challenging, but there are tools like the ones above that can help you to succeed. You are a valuable asset to companies out there—you just need to be able to help employers see it. Embrace the opportunities you'll have to learn and grow, and don't let anyone take your power and you’ll be able to better succeed as you enter the workforce.
A positive and healthy work culture leads to productive and happy employees. Savvy business leaders understand the importance of providing a nurturing and thriving business culture for their workers. There are a variety of ways in which you can cultivate a healthy work culture at your organization. Here are three of the top ways that you can achieve this goal:
Effective communication is the cornerstone of positive company culture. Employees feel valued and appreciated if they are informed. Transparency at all levels of the organization will provide for a better understanding among all employees. Having visible and accessible management staff will help to provide this transparency. Communication is most effective when it is spread out through various mediums, including in-person meetings and town halls, online communication, and direct peer-to-peer discussions. Using a variety of communication vehicles will ensure that the message is heard loud and clear.
Healthy Culture Through Health
A healthy work culture can be cultivated through a commitment to good physical health. Group fitness activities promote healthy behavior and support positive relationships within the company. Instituting a wellness challenge program not only gets your employees up and moving but it also encourages social interaction through friendly competition. There are a few different kinds of wellness challenges, so you can find one that fits your workplace. Showing a commitment to the physical and emotional health of your employees will promote employee satisfaction and help you to retain your top talent as you grow your business.
Regardless of their age or responsibility level, employees of all skill levels value praise for their hard work. Making praise a key component of your company culture will increase overall employee satisfaction. Business leaders should make it a goal to compliment at least one employee each day. Recognizing small accomplishments will go a long way in cultivating a sense of gratitude in the workplace. Employees who feel noticed and valued are more motivated and empowered to work even harder. It is no secret that employees who feel valued are more productive, contributing positively to the overall bottom line of the organization.
Making the effort to cultivate a healthy company culture will pay off big dividends for the future of your business. Happy employees are team players and productive workers who are committed to making their organization the best that it can be.
Here’s another article we think you’ll enjoy: A Culture of Care Helps Health Care Professionals Thrive
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