Imagine a train running off track. It unexpectedly veers off course, making it almost impossible to regain its original trajectory. Apply this metaphor to leaders in business, and you have what is known as “career derailment.”
According to Fundera, over 11 million firms in the US are operated by women, contributing over $1.8 trillion to the economy. Despite this, women leaders are still a minority in the workplace, facing difficulties like pay gaps and sexism. Avoiding derailments on top of overcoming these obstacles is challenging, but it’s key to making it to the top with ease. Today, Jennifer-Franklin identifies some common derailers women leaders face to help you better navigate your journey to success.
Lead with a Network Behind You
Many women leaders attempt to carve out a place for themselves outside the “boys club.” But it can be lonely and alienating at the top, not to mention that a lack of connections can seriously stunt professional growth. After all, it’s not what you know but who you know.
Don’t be shy to ask for help. It is essential to mobilize connections in order to cement your growth and negotiate what you want. Consider involving yourself in professional associations and networking groups—the right mentors and contacts can provide invaluable support and advice to help you along your journey. Women who seek counsel are more likely to be stronger, more qualified leaders.
Commit to Your Success
Once you’ve reached the top and achieved your goals, it can be challenging to maintain your intrinsic motivation. After all, what comes after you get the dream job? The answer to that question lies in constant self-improvement and a drive to excel in your chosen field. One way to combat career inertia is to work on bettering your skills as a leader like embracing positivity, connecting one-on-one with people, and focusing on the future. The effort to continue your learning and experience will set you apart from other leaders and ensure you don’t get derailed in the future.
Also, remember to work smarter, not harder. That includes taking advantage of free resources, whether by advertising for free via social media or heading online to create personalized invoices with an invoice template, which will allow you to maintain precise records more easily. The goal is to streamline in order to maximize efficiency.
Coachability Is Key
Forty-six percent of new hires fail within the first 18 months of a job. Why? They are unwilling to learn, adapt, and improve themselves. It is crucial to be malleable and coachable as a leader so that you’re constantly excelling instead of remaining stagnant. Adapt the learning mindset, and implement feedback from bosses, colleagues, and customers into actionable pointers. Get hungry for feedback and practice curiosity instead of trying to ‘be right’ or assert dominance.
Create a Healthy Work-Life Blend
Can women really have it all? Balancing a growing career and personal life can be challenging as women try to carve out a legitimate space for themselves in the workplace. Juggling the demands and expectations of both roles can take a significant toll on mental and physical well-being. However, instead of viewing family and work as an either/or situation, try to approach your responsibilities as fluid and ever-changing. We prefer the term work-life blend because it captures the need for flexibility and personalization rather than a forced balance or equilibrium.
Another critical factor to recognize is that compromises and trade-offs are part of being a leader. Women often place higher expectations on themselves to equally excel in all aspects of their lives. Instead, it is essential to identify what is important to you personally and dedicate attention to that. Setting intentionality can go a long way in ticking off the demands women leaders face.
As a leader, there will always be obstacles in your journey to success. However, barriers are a good thing, as they allow you to become the best version of yourself. Overcome common derailers to become a thriving and inspiring leader that maps out a unique road to success.
Jennifer-Franklin helped many entrepreneurs launch profitable websites without the overwhelm, stressing out or smashing their computers in frustration. You too can get a website that you're proud of and an online business that you're confident to share with the world without wasting hours binge-watching how to videos on YouTube. For more information about my services, please visit my website or contact me today!