Women are taking on the business world, shattering the glass ceiling and moving into ever-higherpositions. Of American women in the workforce, 51.4% hold managerial and professional positions and 40% out-earn their husbands.
There are things women can do to propel themselves higher up the ladder, says Vickie Milazzo, author of Wicked Success Is Inside Every Woman. She shared some key insights from the book, published earlier this year.
“One factor propelling women onward and upward is their unwillingness to be treated like a commodity. It seems that it’s finally sinking in that women are already CEOs—Chief Everything Officers—of our lives and families,” she says. “Entrepreneurship, leading projects, facilitating teamwork and more are simply extensions of what we already excel at, and our expertise is a huge asset to companies when channeled professionally.”
Here are some must-do hints for getting ahead:
- Step up and be heard. This is critical to presenting yourself as indispensable. “It’s better to articulate a dissenting opinion than to ride on the back of everyone else’s,” Milazzo says.
- Pursue the big projects at work. Tackling the small, easy tasks isn’t productive enough. “Going after the significant projects gets you noticed and promoted faster,” Milazzo says. “There’s a reason men don’t volunteer to organize the holiday party.”
- Put in the extra hours. Milazzo advises working harder than your boss.
- Make the difficult times look easy. Don’t whine and share your bad day with your boss. “Even if your car broke down and you had to hitchhike to work, your boss doesn’t need to hear about it,” she says.
- Network with the big players. But Milazzo warns to stay out of the professional gossip chain. Successful people spend time together, and networking with the right ones can move you up faster.
Women also need to remember to be confident, play up their abilities and share their accomplishments to get noticed.
“Have you ever noticed that women tend to downplay their accomplishments while men routinely highlight their achievements and use them to advance?” Milazzo asks. “We females need to take a page from the male playbook and make sure that we’re getting the recognition and credit we’ve earned.”