WOW | Career Tips

You’re Not Bossy, You’re the BOSS.

Change your vocabulary.
Kill the word ‘just’. You’re not ‘just’ emailing, you’re emailing. You’re not ‘just’ asking a question, you’re asking a question. The word ‘just’ shows a lack of self-confidence; you don’t have to apologise for doing your job.

Also always refer to yourself as a ‘woman’ and not a ‘girl’ because you will be respected significantly more by my peers and superiors.

Don’t apologise for doing your job.
Don’t say things like – ‘Sorry to be a pain, but I need XYZ info…’ You don’t need to apologise for doing your job. If someone owes you something, why are you apologising to them? Do what you need to do to get your job done, and if other people are holding you up, escalate it to your boss or theirs.

Do know when to apologise.
Own your mistake and let your manager know how you’ll do it differently next time. If you deny making the mistake you will make yourself look like a chronic problem instead of an employee who can learn and

Introduce yourself
When meeting anyone in business, look ‘em dead in the eye and give them a firm handshake. Exert confidence and a sense of power/strength.

Report all inappropriate behaviour.
Do NOT stand for any type of harassment or bad treatment because of your gender, race, age, or anything else. Report it, and if nothing gets done, that’s not the kind of place you want to be working at.

Sort out your budgeting skills.
Get your finances in order. You can have a well-paying job, but if you can’t get your money in order you’ll never move up in life.

Don’t drag others down
Don’t stand by when you know of someone being treated like shit. If everyone did this, things would get a hell of a lot better, faster. And be there for your fellow female colleagues. Support each other, believe each other, believe IN each other. Men have advanced in their careers for years on the basis of mutual support and respect from other men. Do the same for your fellow women in the workplace. That network will be a powerful part of your working life.

Be kind
Be kind to everyone you meet in a company, from the janitorial staff to the CEO. You never know whose help you may need along the way.

Dress for the job you want.
Hair neat, minimal jewellery, nude makeup, fitted clothes and great shoes. You can always incorporate your own style after you get the job and become a valuable asset to your employer.

Humility is as valuable as confidence.
Be confident, know your value, but also be humble. Know your worth and role within the company, but also check yourself before you burn bridges or make a fool of yourself by not being humble.

Know when to say no
Don’t fall into the trap of accommodating things it’s not your job to accommodate. In a workplace setting, women are less likely than men to say ‘no’ to tasks, even when those tasks are not part of their job remit. Before you know it, something you agreed to as a favour because you’ve been socially conditioned to be accommodating becomes the norm, and it’s just expected that you will always take the minutes/print the agendas/make the tea/whatever. By all means show willing to step up to new challenges, but don’t do everyone’s drudge work just because you think you’re expected to say yes.

Have a fulfilling life outside of work
Do things you love, make time for the people in your life, enjoy the sunshine and take a slow walk every now and then.

Don’t be afraid to speak up, and don’t let people talk over you before you’re done.
Be assertive. People often don’t mean to cut others off when talking, but you should still remind them when it’s your turn to speak. Take a deep breath, reassess, then firmly continue speaking. It’s OK to politely say, ‘Excuse me, I am still talking.’ Don’t apologise for having an opinion or something to say. You’re smart, you’re in the room because you’re qualified, and what you have to say will help your team.

Don’t let anyone intimidate you.
This goes to anyone, not just women: Don’t let anyone in the workplace intimidate you. Not your boss, not your boss’s boss, not the CEO. At the end of the day, they’re all PEOPLE, just like you! They go home and watch TV in their undies too.

Don’t stay in a job you hate
Don’t be afraid to walk out on a job. If it’s not working out for whatever reason, it’s not right for you. NEVER SELL YOURSELF SHORT. A bad job is about as awful and time-consuming as a bad relationship, and you just don’t need that in your life.

Stay out of office gossip
It might be fun for a few minutes, but the worst outcome is the lack of trust you may incur from colleagues or your boss. It can also slowly create a negative environment.

If you know you need or deserve something, ask for it
Don’t wait for someone to hand you things on a platter. If you want something, go out and get it. Whether that is starting your own business, pitching a kickass project you’d love to run to your boss, or asking for a raise because you bring mad value to the company, the only person in charge of your life is YOU.

Always be open to opportunities!