When it comes to leveling the professional playing field between men and women, society has made significant strides in the right direction, but we haven’t arrived at the finish line yet. This might come as a surprise to some, as a study run by Careerbuilder revealed that 84% of men believe there is no pay gap between men and their female counterparts of the same qualifications. The reality? Women still make approximately 80 cents for every dollar made by a male. We are still 20 pretty pennies away from this ideal equilibrium that so many people believe we have already reached.
As we continue to tread towards this goal, women are grasping at any new foothold they have access to. According to a Yahoo article by Jennifer Berry, the amount of women earning their college degree has increased almost threefold since 1970. With more women than ever working toward poising themselves for success and equality, there are important strategies female employees can apply to their individual quests for success in the workplace. The below article includes some excellent tips to catalyze these efforts.
Career Strategies for Women
Check out these smart strategies for building long-term career success.
By Jennifer Berry
Career Strategy #1- Make Sure You Have the Right Credentials
When it comes to long-term success, education can really pay off. In fact, having the right credentials can help you qualify for more jobs, open the door to greater earning potential, and lead to a higher quality of life down the road. According to a 2010 report from the U.S. Department of Education that looked at average income for high school and college graduates, people with a bachelor’s degree earned 53 percent more than high school graduates who didn’t go to college. But in today’s competitive world, it’s not enough to simply “get educated.” You need to ensure you get the right education. “Education and careers are intertwined,” says Dr. Brooks. “In some cases a specific degree or educational path is required to enter the field.”
Career Strategy #2 – Determine the Best Career for You
“Look at where career fields are going, not just where they are right now,” Dr. Brooks advises. Some key things to think about: job growth, pay, and long-term stability.
Health care, for example, is a solid field with growing opportunities. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of registered nurses, medical assistants, and home health aides is projected to experience substantial growth through 2018.
Career Strategy #3 – Be Positive and Proactive
For long-term stability, try this for a career strategy: Be positive and proactive.“Focus on the job at hand,” says Dr. Brooks. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you have a lot on your plate. Take on one task at a time, and devote your whole attention to it. You might be surprised to find that you can accomplish more – at a higher level of quality – when you can focus your efforts.
Career Strategy #4 – Go the Extra Mile
If you want to stand out at work, you can’t simply perform the tasks assigned to you. You have to bring more to the table. Approach your job with a “How can I serve?” attitude. “Think about your customers, clients, supervisors, etc.,” Dr. Brooks suggests. “How can you make them look or feel better? What one thing can you do today to improve something at your workplace?”
Career Strategy #5 – Get Noticed for the Right Reasons
“Focus on what is important to your company or organization. Then strive to improve that area,” Dr. Brooks says.
“If customer satisfaction is a valued commodity in your office, for example, how are you going the extra mile to ensure that? What do you do that is different or special? How are you applying your key strengths every day at your work?” asks Dr. Brooks.
From there, find ways to make sure those above you are aware of what you’re doing. This could involve something as simple as sending a quick email when you’ve finished a task and noting what results you achieved. Getting on your supervisor’s radar – and making sure they’re aware of your accomplishments – could pay dividends when it’s time for a promotion.