WSJ’s CareerJournal has a nice piece by
- What should young women not do?
In terms of what not to do, persistence is critical, but women also need to
know when no means no. You shouldn’t perceive no as rejection. Simply explore
other opportunities. When you are making a proposal, you have to tune into the
nonverbal and get a sense of the other person. When they want to hawk their
ideas, people have a tendency to get caught up in business and exchanging cards
and may not notice the reactions around them. You need to build relationships
first, because the other person might feel like you are taking advantage of them
or the situation. People don’t want to feel like they are being used.
Sometimes, I’ve sat at tables at meetings and watched people go in for the
kill, they advance their agenda so quickly. You’ve just met the other person.
You should let them breathe.
- What other things tend to get in women’s way?
Being a woman in corporate America may have its challenges, but pursuing
future job opportunities with the attitude that, because you’re a woman, it’s
going to be harder, isn’t the way to do it. Sometimes women and people from
diverse groups tend to approach situations with the idea that it will be tougher
for them because they’re different. If you go in like that, it will be
different, because you are wearing this on your sleeve.
Confidence in what you bring to the table is critical. Women also need to
know themselves and their worth and be able to explain everything that’s on
their resumes. I’m not in the job market so, while I know what I’ve done at past
jobs, I sometimes can’t recall the specifics. You need to know the highlights,
so if you’re in an interview or meeting, and someone says, "What did you do at
this company?" you know what your achievements were. Have something handy to
- What will make people take notice of you?
Networking is just a part of getting ahead, but some people are so busy
schmoozing or building relationships that they don’t build their skills. You
need to shine in your present position. That means not only networking but
having initiative. This might mean taking on new projects and excelling at the
ones you are working on now. Professional development activity also is good
because it shows that you are taking an extra step forward to stand out from the