Businesswomen, this one is for you
One month ago, it was International Women’s day. On this day, we commemorate the movement of women’s rights and celebrate women achievements throughout history. In light of this event, we thought we’d write an empowering article for all the young female professionals out here starting their careers. Here is some advice coming from 31-year old CFO Kira, keep these in mind for when you join her at the top.
Never Doubt Yourself
Women, show off your confidence. Know that you’re excellent at your job and have the same amount of credibility as your colleagues. Also, part of not doubting yourself lies in being less apologetic. Stop apologizing unless you did something worth apologizing for. Try this, keep track of how many times per week you apologise for actions you’ve taken or simply ‘just because’ you were afraid of the outcome. Instead, own your ideas. When you know what’s best for your company, confidently put this forward. Lastly, it is important for women to support each other. Unfortunately, it happens often that women gossip or talk badly of each other on the work floor, yet this will not help women forward. Publicly lift up fellow women colleagues. In turn, they will do the same for you when you may need it the most.
A work-life balance is as important for women as it is for men. As Kira states ‘every second of every day has a return on investment’. Invest in your team, keep up good relationships and devote quality time in their and your own development. Although you might think that you have to do everything yourself, make sure to delegate tasks if you’re leading a team or ask your colleagues for help every once in a while. It’s a great learning experience for both you and your team members or colleagues. It’s alright to make mistakes, only when you learn from them. Have a clear growth path and work towards completing your goals. Also, working harder doesn’t mean that you should let go of things that bring you happiness. Don’t miss out on seeing your friends, family or going to that concert you’ve always wanted to go to, because you consistently put your career before yourself. This might look like the only way, but in the long run isn’t sustainable. Invest smartly!
Realise That Presentation is Key
You may be the most intelligent and hardest-working employee in your company, however presenting your ideas in an effective manner will always remain one of your most important skills. Give yourself that little confidence boost by putting on clothes that make you feel comfortable and empowered. Know your audience and know how to work this crowd. This will show them that you know what you’re talking about. ‘It’s all in the delivery, ladies’, says Kira. Giving presentations in any form or shape is a learning process, but an important skill to have. If you want to improve yourself and have time, read the book How to Win Friends and Influence People. Although the content and examples may be outdated, the main points are still very much informative.
Set yourself up for success. And take this from Kira ‘Have awareness. When gender inequality or other challenges cross your path, face them head on. Always be proud of who you are, and please join me in continuing the march forward.’