Ten to twenty years ago, career choices and opportunities for women were extremely limited. While we’ve made incredible progress over time, the opportunity for women to reach the top of the corporate ladder is still met with some underlying challenges.
To this day, the trajectory of growth for women in leadership roles is quite different from their male counterparts, and women are under-represented in the C-suite. However, the major movement to push the professional development of women in the marketing world is making an impact.
As a marketing recruitment and staffing agency, we come across many women across all levels who feel reluctant to push through the glass ceiling in the industry and find it difficult to pursue their career goals. Many of them are younger professionals who underestimate themselves or are more senior-level professionals who have tried time and time again, but haven’t been able to reach their definitions of success (just yet, at least).
Related Video: Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders | Sheryl Sandberg
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Top Marketing Recruitment Firm Shares 8 Important Things Successful Women in Marketing Do
Regardless of how you felt in your past jobs, know that every role has come into your life for a reason. You may not realize it just yet, but these are all lessons that will mold you into who you are – personally and professionally. So, trust the process and be the strongest advocate for your own professional career development.
Do a Self-Assessment
You won’t get what you want if you aren’t sure of what your focus is. Take time to reflect on what your strengths and skills are, and where you want your career to go. From there, create a plan and strategize what you need to do to reach your career goals.
As you create a roadmap for your career, focus on things and ambitions that are valuable to you. Don’t try to force yourself into being someone you’re not – stay true to yourself. Focus on being the best authentic version of yourself and always maintain your core values and beliefs.
Are you truly ready for that promotion or that new project you’ve been trying to get your hands on? What gaps do you have in your skill set that may be preventing you from progressing? Making sure you’re on the right path by building skills you may be missing is important in moving ahead.
Ask for What You Want
Don’t settle for positions or roles that undervalue your capabilities, and don’t be passive when it comes to reaching for new opportunities. Actively go after what you want and create your own opportunities.
Don’t underestimate yourself – seek self-promotion and get the pay that you deserve. However, understand the fine line between being confident and arrogant. If you’re extremely over-confident, you can come off as abrasive and vain.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to say yes to everything that’s asked of you. If you have competing priorities, make sure you have a good balance of being a team player and taking on projects that are beneficial to your role and career development.
Simply put – believe in your skills and believe that you can have it all. From there on, go fiercely after what you deserve!
Build Your Network
Don’t overlook the value of making deep relationships with colleagues, peers, and managers. Take the time to get to know people on a personal level and nurture these relationships. These genuine connections will be worthwhile for you personally and professionally.
Build relationships not only just within your department but cross-functionally in other departments, and outside of your organization. Build a network with other women who are also on the trajectory for professional growth. There are many organizations and events established to help women cultivate their careers and progress forward. A solid network is valuable for exchanging ideas, business opportunities, and learning best practices and the latest trends.
Go to as many networking events as possible and diversify your connections. Look into getting involved with volunteering and non-profit organizations. Doing so will broaden your perspective on life and give you opportunities you never had before.
Make every interaction count; you never know what doors can open up for your future!
Earn Your Seat at the Table
How are you marketing yourself? What do you want people to think of you in and out of the office?
You’re ultimately responsible for your own career, and you can’t expect to have success handed to you. You must bring your goals and aspirations to fruition; so if you know what you want, go beyond the call of duty to get it.
You have to focus on building your own personal brand, and proving your capabilities as a marketer to employers and your company by creating results. Show initiative and take risks, and always challenge yourself to do better. If you fail, it’s not the end; rather, it’s the only path to success. Just pick yourself up and try again.
Maintain your integrity and always treat others (that are above and below your seniority) with respect. By working hard and being proud of how you achieved milestones, you will look back and feel that you’ve had a fulfilling journey.
Find a Mentor
Having a person to mentor you and provide their personal experiences to help develop your career is incredibly valuable. The majority of successful people in the world are where they are because of guidance from mentors and leaders.
Take a look at women-leaders in organizations – is that where you can see yourself? Don’t hesitate to reach out to other women in your organization and in the industry. There are so many who are willing to mentor and guide other women because they genuinely enjoy it.
Leverage every opportunity you get to learn from other women and ask for advice. This is a great way to get advice from people who have been in your position and learn from their experience.
Don’t Ignore Your Gut Feeling
Women face the challenge of feeling like they can’t have it all – a full-blown career, a social life, a family, and everything in-between. However, as a marketing talent agency who has placed many successful women in top-level positions, we know you can.
We also know that women have high emotional intelligence that allows them to understand and analyze people and situations on a deeper level. Some may think this is better referred to as a woman’s inherent intuition.
Whatever you want to call it, always listen to your gut feeling. If you have a feeling that a certain company isn’t the right place to work, don’t ignore it. Being emotionally intelligent and listening to your intuition is highly important when it’s used to make career choices.
Be a Lifelong Learner
Don’t allow yourself to become complacent in your professional development and don’t let your learning stop within the confinement of work.
Watch webinars, read trade publications and business books. Attend conferences and seminars, and keep up with influencers and thought leaders in your industry. Try to work in different departments across your organization to strengthen your overall business skills and capabilities.
Get to where you want by being self-taught and taking charge of your own education. You can’t ever have too much knowledge, especially in marketing.
Support Other Women and Diversity
At the end of the day, you want to make sure you’re advocating for diversity to make room for other women like you to have opportunities for career growth and leadership roles.
If you’ve found success by working hard and have gotten the guidance of great mentors, pay it forward by meeting with other women who may be in positions similar to yours. Take the time to help others and share your experiences.
Give support, encourage others, and be an active part of the movement to help women thrive. The impact you have on other women can be one of the key drivers that contribute to success in your long career journey.
You won’t reach ultimate success overnight. And if you’re extremely motivated in reaching your maximum potential, you’ll realize that you’ll always want to improve and get better overtime.
Take smart chances, keep learning, and take advantage of every opportunity you have. Remember that how you treat others will largely impact the trajectory of your career and all of the choices you make steer you in the direction you’re supposed to be in. Every role and opportunity shapes who you are and the professional that you are today.
Strap in and enjoy the ride!