5 Ways Women Can Put Their Career On The Fast Track

Jul 02, 2014

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According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, full-time women earned only 77 cents for every dollar men earned. Whether you want to advance your career to earn more, level the income gap between you and your male co-workers or find more fulfilling work; you won’t get there waiting idly for something to happen. Tackle a few lifestyle changes to put your career on the fast track and get noticed in your office.

Upgrade Your Work Wardrobe

In an ideal world, we wouldn’t be judged by our appearance. But the reality is how we look and present ourselves matters– you not only need the knowledge, skills, and experience, you also need to look the part. While you don’t need to break the bank updating your wardrobe into high fashion wares, taking a cue from your manager’s and co-workers’ attire is necessary. Invest in a few quality suits or ensembles that can be mixed and matched like black slacks and grey jackets or blouses. Regardless of what type clothes you wear, remember how they fit also counts. Lose the frumpy ill-fitting shirts and pants, and invest in some tailoring to make your clothes look like they were made for you.

Foster Your Talent

Learning and cultivating your skills isn’t something that ends after college and once you land a job. Develop your skills in management, marketing or technology with continuing-education programs, conferences and workshops. For example, consider learning how to run payroll or scheduling software from your tablet or phone. Help brainstorm a new app for your business. And if you’re worried about technology distracting you, turn it into a positive. Short smartphone and gadget breaks at work have also been shown to make us more productive.

Network Like a Pro

Go beyond attending networking events and beefing up your LinkedIn connections and seek out a sponsor. While mentors may advocate for your skills, connect you to new people and offer advice; sponsors can help push you ahead and take a more strategic approach to your career. Sponsors generally are in senior positions at your company and can help you develop and earn promotions. Seek out a mentor in organizations like the Rotary Club or entrepreneurial women’s club to develop your skills, and consider why a sponsor at work could should support you and the type of skills and talents you can offer.

Make Sleep a Focus

Sleep deprivation effects every parts of our lives, and work is no exception. Sleeplessness can cause emotional issues such as depression and impatience as well as physical problems like a poor memory. In a survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, 40 percent of those surveyed reported being impatient with others at work, 27 percent found it difficult to concentrate and 20 percent found a drop in expected productivity. Commit to sleeping at least eight hours a night to combat productivity crashes and improve your overall work performance.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Keep yourself from stagnating at work, and get outside your comfort zone. Assume new responsibilities at work, take promotions that require relocating and tackle ambitious projects. It’s difficult to make a career change without some type of motivation and impetus, but don’t expect an employer to promote you without seeing you take action first.