How to get promoted to a leadership role and how to manage your career are often concerns for most people. And it is even more accurate for women. In this article, we will explore some strategies to step forward and ask for this leadership position you are dreaming about.
⏰ 3 min read – Leadership – Career management – Self-confidence
• 86% of working women (age 25 to 64) think that when they see more women in leadership, they are encouraged to get there themselves. (KPMG’ Women Leadership Study, 2015)
• 75% of women think that being confident in their abilities will drive their career forward.
• It is difficult for women leaders to evolve in male-centric businesses.
• Female leaders are still underrepresented in the workplace.
If you recognize yourself in one of these statements, keep reading.
Nowadays, it is commonly admitted that there are two aspects that we can focus on to get more women promoted to leadership roles: confidence and connection. The tips and insights below will definitely give you some opportunities to take charge and start to build the career you want.
Getting promoted starts with you
Of course, it is true that you can not decide to promote yourself to a leadership role. Yet, you can certainly set your intention and take actions to get one.
First advice and probably one of the most powerful because this one is only on you: do not wait for someone else to take care of your career. If you want to get opportunities, choose to go after your dreams and grab those opportunities.
It always starts with you, your vision, your dreams and your attitude. You are the only person able to know what you want and therefore, the only person to take action. You don’t need to do all the journey alone though, finding allies along the way is essential.
Anyway, always keep in mind that you are the only one in charge of the ignition. So, why not start now?
Be aware of unconscious biases
What holds most women back from leadership roles is the belief that they do not have the abilities and experiences needed to be an effective leader.
Once again, we need to be aware of unconscious biases that reduce or even inhibit our ambition and our desire to be promoted. Isso in mind that our thoughts and beliefs are influenced by the education, culture and environment we were educated in and we live in.
In order to realize what our biases and negative beliefs are, it is necessary to detect them by taking some distance and dedicate some time to think about it.
Tip: each time you are doubting yourself, ask yourself where this is coming from. Write your doubt down. And, on the right side of this sentence, write the positive sentence. Like this: Doubt: I can not lead men → Why am I thinking this? Because they will not accept that a woman leads them → Positive sentence: I lead my team with values and care without any discrimination.
Awareness is essential to transform the biases into fuel for your career.
Pacify your imposter syndrome
Imposter syndrome is natural and common to all human beings. Instead of letting it turn you down and reduce your aspirations, understand what this syndrome is, that everyone is suffering from that feeling at some point in their career, and that we are able to transform this fear.
Watch this very useful video to discover more about why we feel the imposter syndrome. Because if we know where it comes from and what it represents, we already have made 50% of the job to overcome it.
Create connections with talented women at work
Ideally, we need to develop circuits to enable us to build strong relations with men and women leaders within the organization. Furthermore, connecting with women that are already in a leadership role gives you the ability to have first hand information and insights about their experiences and also tips to drive you career in your specific environment.
Indeed, you eventually know some women leaders within your organization. Reach out and introduce yourself. The idea is to ask gently to have a chat or meet over coffee or lunch. Most women are really willing to help. Yet, to do so, they need to know that you are seeking their feedback and/or help. This is a way to get out of your comfort zone with a safety net.
Moreover, showing your support to other women facing challenges in your company is also a way to connect to each other. As a matter of fact, building a community of support and exchange will help more women to get promoted to leadership roles.
Mentorship is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable (not necessarily older) person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person.
A mentor will provide you with guidance, support and direction. If you are looking for help and are willing to learn, ask the person you are looking up to and/or someone that has achieved results you want to achieve yourself to become your mentor. Put on the effort and the work to get the best of the time you spend with him/her/them. They are committed to share their experiences and knowledge as long as you are keen to learn.
Watch this TEDx video called “Mentorship will change the world” featuring Kam Phillips talking about the benefits she gets from mentorship.
As for me, I have, for instance, several mentors:
- Some that I am meeting with or talking to and sharing my thoughts, ideas and experiences with. And they are sharing theirs with me. One of them is even under 30, because I want to be challenged by her mindset and vision of life.
- Others that I admire and get in touch through webinars, talks, conferences, books…There is no personal interaction with them but they are teaching me a lot.
- My customers are also great mentors.
Anyway, it is obvious that this old saying is true: when the student is ready, the master appears.
Build your career
Being ready and showing humbly and genuinely that you are ready also gives fuel to your career path. Do you know what you want to achieve as a professional? What is the career you want to complete?
Genuine leadership comes from within.
Once you have answered these questions, start to identify the skills set and qualities you need to improve to get there. Here is how you can do that: list the skills needed by checking on the internet the job or function description mostly associated with it. This is the picture of the future.
Then, list your present skills and qualities. Be as fair and exhaustive as possible. They are composing the current picture.
In a third phase, compare those two pictures and create the following lists: one with the skills you already have, one with the skills you need to improve and the last one with the skills you need to acquire.
Once this is done, start efficiently to plan the trainings and learnings to ameliorate and gain the skills needed for your targeted role. Each time you upgrade your competencies, check if you are on the right path to achieve the career you want.
More to come about building your career in our future posts. As a matter of fact, getting the career you want appears as one of the women’s priorities according to the survey we realized within our network.
Keep learning and developing your skills
It sounds obvious; yet, most of the time, needs to be implemented or improved. Developing your skills and your abilities are necessary to gain confidence and show up for a leadership role. Even if you are going to learn a lot and discover more to this once you are a leader.
In the meanwhile, join and participate in programs that support women’s professional development and help you improve your skills. There are a lot of offers on the market. Chose the one that speaks to you and matches your values.
As for us, at Akali Academy, we definitely chose a holistic approach, with 2 main objectives:
– Help you gain or improve the most effective leadership skills such as negotiation or problem solving
– Support you towards the inner process in order to build and increase your self-confidence. Here is why it is so important.
Furthermore, get proactively in touch with experts, watch videos, attend conferences and webinars, and so on. I can assure you that the greatest leaders I have met and worked with, are their own Human Resources Directors. They learn and develop themselves and theirs skills by themselves and in the meantime ask their companies to provide professional coaching, trainings and sponsoring.
Develop your network
Nowadays, most of the career opportunities get discovered or boosted by your network. And almost all the business opportunities in general grow because you develop your network and therefore your networking skills. To help you to muscle this ability, read this article and discover 8 tips to network strategically.
LinkedIn is also a great place to start: create an account if you don’t have one or promote your existing profile by connecting with friends, colleagues, experts and influencers you want to learn from. Remember though that networking is not about taking, it is about giving and sharing. Like everything in life, when you are authentic and humble in your relationship, it will open doors and potential.
Also, participe in physical networking events. There are places where business gains a lot of visibility. If you are not comfortable, start with women networks first. They will help you navigate through this new ocean of possibilities and you will gain confidence in a safe environment. Then, once you feel comfortable, the next step is to grow your network everywhere with everyone. Always keep in mind that business has no gender.
Read our article on why networking is important in our blog.
On a personal note, I apply these tips every day in my life. And they definitely became greats habits that offer me to be more knowledgeable, more confident and more successful.
Invest your time, energy and money in building confidence and showing up bravely. They are keys to get the leadership role you are seeking for and become the most effective leader you want to be. This means that, to get promoted, you need to improve your confidence and develop your connections.
In conclusion, if you are proactive and show up every day as a responsible and trustful person, you are already changing your current situation and giving the proper signals. This will obviously be noticed and open new opportunities for you to grab. And led you to this leadership role you want.
Now, what is going to be your first step?
Last, if you want to discover more about how to get more confident in your life, download our free self-confidence workbook in https://www.akali-academy.com/. It describes small actions that you can implement every day and that will help you feel more confident.
Be great and brave!
Talk to you soon,
#akaliacademy #women #leadership #lilianadomingues #cathiaziebel #self-confidence