Do you have your eyes on a career or promotion, but hesitate to apply because you’re not sure you have what it takes? Unfortunately, many women find themselves in this position. Due to the sacrifices they made as a mother, they feel they don’t have the educational, professional, or personal experience necessary to excel. Believing they’ll have to choose between being a good mother and an outstanding employee, they “stay in their place”.
The problem with this mindset is that it’s false. Millions of women have learned to be effective at home and in the workplace. While advancing professionally will require you to make personal sacrifices, the only thing that can stop you from landing that career opportunity or promotion is you. Once you’ve got that in your head, you’re ready to go the extra mile to get what you want. Here are some tips below.
Ask For Help
It’s not uncommon for women to feel like they have to take the weight of the world on their shoulders. You have this belief that asking for help means you’re putting your “burdens” on someone else. Be that as it may, it takes great courage to say you need assistance. You’ll also be pleasantly surprised to learn how many people and resources are available. Yes, taking on a new job or promotion is going to require more of your time, attention, and energy, but with the right support on your side, you can do it.
Your partner or significant other might be willing to rearrange their schedule to accommodate more of your needs. Your parents, cousins, siblings, or friends may have time to be there for the kids, hold you accountable, or provide encouragement when it’s needed most. Not to mention, your employer and other government or private agencies have resources from affordable childcare to tuition assistance that can be the missing link you need to accomplish your goal.
Do Your Homework
You can’t execute a plan without first having done your research. Start by asking yourself how much you know about the position you’re applying for. Access the job posting or description and read it thoroughly. What is your role? What are your daily responsibilities? What are the hours? Are there any special requirements (i.e. travel, flexible hours, etc)? What previous experience do you need? Write down or make note of your findings.
Conduct a Self-Assessment
Now that you’ve learned more about the position you’re after, it’s time to conduct a self-assessment. Based on your current lifestyle, experience, skills, and capabilities, are you a good fit for the position? If the answer is no, don’t allow it to discourage you from pressing forward. Instead, write down your areas of weakness so you can begin working on them.
Continue Your Education
Academic experience plays a significant role in a person’s chances of getting hired for a job or promotion. If you find that you don’t have the educational background required to meet minimum requirements, this is an area worth investing in. Let’s say you want to become an art director at an advertising agency. You’ll need to know things like, what is product design and its relevance to quality customer service. Whether you take a few online courses or pursue a degree in product design, it expands your knowledge and increases your chances of getting the position.
Sometimes, the position you’re interested in requires you to have certain skills or hands-on experience. If this is the obstacle you’re dealing with, you must be willing to invest in your professional development. You can look into short courses or certifications, seminars, or professional training opportunities to further enhance your skills. If the position you want is internal, you could ask your employer to allow you to shadow or assist the department you’re interested in working with to get hands on experience.
Whether you’re a stay at home mom looking to get back into the workforce, a single mother who’s desperate to start her career, or a full-time, married woman interested in climbing the corporate ladder, you can get there. Don’t allow your role as a mother to convince you that you’re not capable of going the extra mile to get what you want. Start chasing your professional dreams today by doing your homework, assessing your weaknesses, finding ways to improve, and developing a support system that will help you get where you want to be.