Best Career Advice from 8 Female Bosses
In the corporate jungle, everyone wants to make it to the top. Eight female bosses share their best career advice that they have built over the years.
As the wheels of change slowly start to turn for bringing in gender parity and equality all over the globe, here are some fabulous career advice from women bosses, entrepreneurs, and CEOs who have all made it big in their fields.
1. “Assume that the place at that table is rightfully yours. Sit down and take it.”
Advised by: Cathie Black (American educationist)
It is no secret that the road to success is not paved with smooth pebbles. It would not be too far from the truth to state that the path is steeper and filled with more obstacles for women who wish to make it big in their careers. Living in the glam age of digitization and advancements in technology, it seems that the tables cannot turn fast enough for women leaders and bosses all over the globe.
However, as women have proved throughout the history of humankind, they are not ones to back down easily. Right from Rosa Parks to Malala Yousafzai, the fierceness in feminine spirit has shone through time and again.
Fighting for their rightful place in this planet, women from all walks of life have been inspirational for others all over the world, and female bosses powering their way through in workplace are not far behind either. Overcoming some of the biggest obstacles, female bosses have established themselves firmly at the very top in what they do, and this is becoming somewhat of a trend for the last five years.
Studies reveal that the ratio of male to female bosses globally have risen to considerable proportions (about 15%), and the women who fought tooth and nail for their place in their domains are to thank for that.
2. Never lose your focus
Advised by: Anine Bing, fashion designer, and CEO at Anine Bing Corporation
Coming from one of the fashion bigwigs headquartered in tinsel town, this is perhaps the best advice to start your day with. Staying determined about the things you want from your life and career is one of the foremost lessons that you should learn. There will be days when you feel down in the dumps and very demotivated. Remember that the trick lies in being able to power through those days in your best shoes and shades with a hint of doubled-up confidence in all that you do.
No matter how much you are bogged down by work, always pause to think if you are doing your bit every day to inch closer to your goal. If your career goal is to open a chain of retail boutiques, then plan for the next one right from the beginning and invest a little amount of time every day to work towards making that goal an achievable reality. Some easy ways to do this is to proceed with a clearly outline plan and a weekly or monthly to-do list that you can keep ticking off after you get done with the tasks one by one. At the end of the year, you can review on the progress that you have made career-wise and update your plans for the year ahead accordingly.
3. Grab every opportunity to learn and grow
Advised by: Rachel Rutherford, co-CEO of Pose
Every challenge that you come across in your career is actually a doorway to a world of lessons, according to the co-CEO of the much-popular online fashion platform. Grabbing those opportunities and evolving as a professional is thus imperative if you wish to take your career to newer heights. At your workplace, it is at times quite a wise decision to take on challenging tasks. Stepping out of your comfort zone and venturing into tricky waters is sometimes the push that you need to learn your way around the real world.
That is why it is always helpful if you endeavor to push the limits even further and learn from the experiences that come your way while you tackle the difficult tasks. If you shine through with your efforts, then you might always be rewarded with a promotion. In case the world conspires otherwise, regard the experiences as lessons for the future and the new things that you learned in the whole process. Learning on the go at each step of the way is thus a handy career advice that will help to take you a long way.
4. Persevere on even when you want to let go
Advised by: Julie Carlson, editor-in-chief and founder of Remodelista
Staying motivated and beating stress is perhaps one of the biggest challenges that most of us face at our workplaces, and while it is understandable, battling to champion, it is the need of the day if you wish to achieve all goals you have set. Showing the world that you are made to be stronger than you appear, take on those depressing days at work to your stride and devise plans to bring back motivation in your life. You can always go for a weekend retreat to some quiet place, take a few days off and go hiking up your favorite trail, stay at home for Netflix marathons of your favorite show, indulge in a rejuvenating spa and massage or spend an entire day at the beach.
Take a break and do one of the things that you love doing as a pastime and come back to work with a bang. Tackling the same old challenges with a refreshed mind helps to give you the much-needed push in the right direction that will get you back on your feet after a demotivated spell in no time.
5. Do what you love doing
Advised by: Anna Brockway, chief curator and co-founder at Chairish
The first goal in your career plan for life should have, in emboldened letters, to go after what you actually love. Do not chase money or fame, for they are both short-lived and the means to an end. Instead, go after what you really love doing and make a career out of that. For the co-founder of vintage furniture marketplace, it has always been this one thing that kept her going. Being passionate about what you do will help you exude confidence and take on the daily challenges at work like a pro.
Finding your calling is one of the things that most career advisers put on their lists of top ten career advice for any age in any profession. It is best to work in the domain that suits your inner being and brings peace and satisfaction to you at the end of the day. Somewhere along our twenties, we get blinded by the pull for money and drop the things we really love doing to latch ourselves on to money-churning tasks. What we overlook at that time is the impending fatigue that will be piled up for the future. That fatigue comes from having to do soul-crushing jobs to earn a living for the sake of it. In this fast-paced era of digitization, do not be fooled into believing that there are only but a few ways to success.
If you really like doing something – say, designing cards – then you can always turn that into a profession with the resourceful tool that is the Internet. Do what you love doing, and success will not be far behind.
6. Listen more and listen often
Advised by: Jaclyn Shanfeld, founder and CEO of Shop-Hers
As a woman boss in a retail domain, Jaclyn shares her experience as the CEO in the first year where she was more into making her presence felt and mattered to the rest of the board than any actual progress. She recounts that the second year onwards people did start taking her seriously and things were gradually falling into place for her at the company that she had so lovingly started. She says that the key to her success lies in shutting up and listening to what people have to say. Right from customers, brands, investors and everyone around her, the more she listened, the more she found out that there was a lot she needed to learn.
That is how learning opportunities arise, from listening to what others have to say. It is true that you will have to work hard to filter the counterproductive aspects about what others say on a regular basis to function smoothly. But many new learning opportunities do crop up from hearing people express their perspectives and speaking less. Listening to others is thus a great way to go in case you are looking for better management of your goals and objectives at work.
7. Surround yourself with positivity
Advised by: Julia Hartz, co-founder and president at Eventbrite
Managing a global events biggie, Julia sure has her fair share of meeting new people on every single one of her workdays. She is quite passionate about the need to surround yourself with the people who evoke a positive vibe in you that helps you to function well. There will be no lack of people trying to bring you down in your endeavors. The best way to go about it is to cut out all the negativity in your life and surround yourself with co-workers and clients who are positive and dynamic people.
There is no place for negativity in the workplace as it only works towards hindering productivity. That is why it is helpful to have a few but a reliable bunch of people around who will be able to fill your life with the right amount of positivity that you need to reach the stars that you had aimed at.
8. Empower and engage more
Advised by: Suzanne Goin, chef and owner of Lucques and A.O.C.
The secret to being a super-boss comes from valuing your people, and the top woman chef of Los Angeles is no stranger to that. She believes that her mantra to success involves empowering and engaging the people who for you matter in the company. Show them how important they are so they are always motivated to deliver nothing but the very best towards the company, thus helping you run smoothly.
Giving back to the company who always has their backs is something that loyal employees tend to do, and it is best to make them feel appreciated in order to increase their levels of productivity. Talk to them often, engage them in activities and tasks that they would enjoy and empathize. These simple tricks can help you become nothing less than a star in their eyes, and help you be the boss everyone wants to have. Be the champion that you always were meant to be and learn to give in order to receive at your workplace.
Sharing their secrets to success, here were thus eight women who have made it to the very top of the job domains that they work for, and you can take a cue or two from them to improve in your career too. Don't forget about getting your resume reviewed often, as that is one trick that will pay dividends for years to come.