The world of work is a tricky thing to navigate. The risk of a new venture, the perils of asking for a promotion, the fraught workplace politics — and that’s not even mentioning the difficulties we face as women at work the gender pay gap, sexual harassment, and others.
So when it comes to excelling in your career, it’s worth taking some advice from women who have overcome those obstacles and succeeded. Read on for some vital tips from successful women to help you get ahead in your career.
Kelle Twadelle: be patient
When you set out to succeed in business, it’s easy to get impatient. Success is a tantalising thing, and when you chase it, you want it straight away. But Rome wasn’t built in a day and good things come to those who wait — especially in business.
In just a few years, Kelle had to change her store’s location, completely revamp her business model, and look after her husband following a motorcycle accident. But by setting herself short-term goals focused on overcoming these obstacles, Kelle was able to build her business into the thriving brand it is today.
The best things require hard work, consistent effort, and above all, time. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you feel you’re going nowhere and don’t compare yourself to others — keep your eye on the horizon.
Orion Talmay: find a coach
Behind every successful woman, there is a
successful man successful coach mentoring them through their journey. Every business woman needs an erudite mentor who has been there, done that, and got a successful career to prove it.
As Orion Talmay of Orion’s Method outlines, coaches help you:
- Get clarity.
- Develop a career plan.
- Identify the tools you need for success.
- Keep accountable for your actions.
- Identify and overcome obstacles on your journey.
- Provide vital support and encouragement.
Nobody succeeds on their own — not truly. Everyone has a little helping hand from someone who has traversed the rocky terrain of business themselves and came out on top.
Find someone who can teach you the skills you need to succeed. Perhaps there’s someone you admire at work already — don’t be afraid to approach them to ask for advice. Indeed, they’ll likely appreciate the thought.
Alternatively, find a career coach online. There are lots of women coaches who have experience helping people get the most from their careers. A second pair of eyes can do wonders for your career.
Sara Blakeley: have confidence in yourself
Confidence is one of the most undervalued traits a successful businesswoman can have, especially in the male-dominated world of business. Having confidence in your decisions, even in the face of criticism or a perceived lack of skill or experience, can make your business.
Take Spanx’s Sara Blakeley for instance. In an interview with Forbes’ Kathy Caprino, Sara said: “Believe in your idea, trust your instincts, and don’t be afraid to fail. […] Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.”
Sara started out with just $5000 capital and little to no knowledge about ecommerce, marketing, product development, or other necessary areas of business. Ordinarily, such a situation would stop a would-be entrepreneur in their tracks. But Sara persevered, learning what she needed and hiring others to do the rest, and went on to build a multinational underwear empire.
Have confidence in yourself. Believe in your ideas and pursue it. Don’t let obstacles stop you — overcome them, confident in the knowledge that you can achieve your goals.
Nicole Centeno: embrace failure
Failure — or rather, how you deal with failure — can make or break your career.
For some, failure is a debilitating even which rocks us to the core. It can feel like it sets us back years, and can even prevent us from pursuing our goals entirely.
But for others, failure is an opportunity. It’s a chance to learn, improve, and regroup so you can jump right back into the fray again.
Look at Nicole Centeno, founder of Splendid Spoon. During the first two years of her business, she tried to juggle mothering two young children, maintaining a marriage, and running a growing startup.
Of course, such a balancing act wasn’t sustainable, and her business stopped growing. But Nicole picked herself up and changed tack:
“I put one foot in front of the other and opened myself up to the idea of inviting another leader into my realm […] Within a month of re-launching [the site], our business had quadrupled.”
Failure is only a true failure if you let it be. Every successful businesswoman has their own string of failures behind them. But each one spurred them on to work harder and smarter.
Terry Lehman: do what you love
It’s easy to lose yourself in the pursuit of success. As we strive to be the best and succeed at what we do, we can forget to ask ourselves: do I love this?
When you work and as you advance in your career, you might forget why you started doing it in the first place. Perhaps it was just to pay the bills. But as you progress you lose sight of the forest for the trees, and one day you look back and wonder whether it was all worth it.
As Terry Lehman of True Green succinctly puts it: “Love what you do as it’s not a 9-5 job.” While she’s speaking specifically about entrepreneurship, it applies equally for other jobs too. Even if you’re not working for yourself, life is too short to work in something you hate.
Of course, this isn’t always possible for everyone. But finding joy in your work, even if you don’t like the role, will make it easier to progress by giving you a reason to keep at it.
If you want to get ahead in your career, it pays to learn from the best. And who better than successful women who have seen it all before and come through to achieve success. Follow the tips above and you’ll soon soar ahead in your role.