Professional women face some unique barriers that could impede their overall employability. Besides taking time off of work to have and raise children as well as grappling with the underlying inner conflict of doing and having to do it all, there are some other more subtle obstacles they face.
Self promotion is difficult for many people, but especially women who either grew up in a family or during a time where being seen not heard was what was expected and valued. Being unable to comfortably talk about their skills and accomplishments often stands in the way of advancement or even just staying employed. Women shouldn’t assume bosses or employers know what they want to do and their work doesn’t always speak for itself. So ladies, my number 1 tip: Learn to Speak Up.
Secondly, the secret to becoming or staying employable is fostering key relationships. This goes beyond just building a network. This is about identifying and cultivating advocates and ambassadors. These are people in your professional life who sing your praises without prompting, recommend you without hesitation, applaud your successes, and always have your back. So tip number 2: look deep into your past and present professional network and identify who those key people are.
Lastly, women can notoriously fall into the care giver role both personally and professionally. And the last person they take care of is themselves. Tip number 3 for women to stay employable is to invest in themselves. This can be done either by hiring a professional coach or joining a women’s professional development round-table. Both of these options give women time to focus on themselves, sharpen some skills and bring their ‘A” game to the job.