6 lessons learned working as a woman in corporate America

Women make up nearly 52% of the corporate task force and yet only 14% of that whopping 52 are in leadership positions. Finding your place in a male-dominated sphere can be daunting, but getting to the top successfully is not impossible. Here are a few things to remember on your climb:

  • We are not one of the guys– One big mistake a lot of corporate women make is to believe that if they act, talk, and walk like the guys, they’ll be considered one of them too. This is as far from the truth as possible. It is important to remember that everyone is unique and trying to fit yourself to a male quota will rid you of that special something. Fitting in with the crowd isn’t what will get you to the top of that ladder, standing out will.
  • Passion and emotionality are not the same thing– Being seen as an emotional woman in the corporate world is a label that won’t wipe off so soon. Because of this, many women are very careful about how they present themselves and what emotions they show, but this soon becomes stifling for the passion they have for their work. The first thing to realise is that passion and emotionality are not one and the same. Passion is good and it’s the driving force of every successful person.
  • Your family life and dynamic will change– Change is a part of life and the sooner you realise and fully accept it, the better it will be for you and your career. Embrace change in all aspects of your life, don’t run away from it.
  • You will always be pulled away from the office– Corporate women are still human beings, and often people, including the women themselves forget this. As you build your career and your business life, other aspects will grow as well. From your family to personal life, there will be changes that you will have to cater to, most likely starting with children. Flexibility is the key to balancing all aspects of your life and it avoids sacrificing one part for another. Creativity is another skill that will make things more interesting and easier to deal with. Your day doesn’t have to be a huge block at work, try something simple like going home for lunch, if it’s close enough or meeting friends and family at a restaurant. Being away from your office or work does not mean you’re unserious or that it will take longer to reach your goal, it just means you have various parts of your life that mean as much to you as your work does.
  • Hard work speaks louder than perfection– Hard work is that miracle potion that will push you through times of stagnancy in your career when you feel like you’ve hit a progressional barrier. Remember though, that consistency is key- don’t give up when the going gets tough. Instead, roll up your sleeves and get down and dirty with every aspect of your work life. The best thing about hard work is that it can’t go unnoticed for long, sooner or later someone higher up will see how much effort you put in and your consistency with that effort will make you a shoe-in for a major promotion.
  • To what heights you climb the corporate ladder won’t mean near as much to you as how you climbed it– Yes, getting to the top is every woman’s dream, but how you get there matters to. In the end, when you look back at your journey, you’re going to remember those in your life who influenced you and who you influenced. Make sure that what you look back on weeks, or months or years down the road is something that will make you happy and proud of where you’ll be then.