A few obstacles in the face of women who want more out of their career include the glass ceiling and the lack of pay equity. However, there are strategies women have 100% control over that can accelerate their career but they simply choose to play it safe. Making power moves for the sake of advancing your career will and does require a proactive approach (preparation). I know this to be true because I played it safe for most of my career which equated to missed opportunities for advancement, loss wages, longer work weeks and less time for pleasure.

Allow me to share a couple of real-life challenges my clients are currently facing:

  1. Last week, I spoke with a client who’s ready for “something different” professionally. She’s been in her department for 14 years yet her motivation for change is the result of feeling as though she’s a target. She’s now reacting to an issue because she hasn’t taken a proactive approach regarding her career. What could have transpired professionally 5 years ago had she proactively managed her career and assumed a different role? More fulfillment, an increase in salary, less stress, exposure to new skills?
  2. Over the weekend, a client sent me a message via LinkedIn indicating she missed my workshop last Monday and that she has an interview Friday. Her last sentence actually states “I have an interview Friday and need some serious help.” How much more prepared are candidates who prepare for interviews the moment they decide a new role is a welcomed opportunity? How much more prepared would she be if my 30-min course (click here) 20 Things To Consider Before Every Interview was a staple in her preparation strategy?

It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in leading a team or if you prefer individual contributor roles, advancement requires preparation. There are intangible assets (those not physical in nature) that are considered career accelerators for women such as:

  • Education and on-going training
  • Self-promotion
  • Planning your career

Planning and advancing your career includes: ensuring you’ve identified your next opportunity, that you meet the necessary requirements of the role, that you’ve taken assignments to increase your visibility and that your resume as well as your ability to interview successfully are top-tier.

With 64% of candidates failing to transfer their past experience to their current opportunity, 53% of candidates winging it and the mere fact that society teaches us as women to place the needs of others ahead of our own- it’s time to alter the direction of this particular career conversation. It’s time for us (yes, you and I) not only to prepare in anticipation of advancement but to also get comfortable with self-advocacy. I see women advancing their careers as a birthright; a freedom that is possessed by every woman and I encourage you to embrace this perception as well. With this in mind, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes by Shirley Chisholm to remind you that advancement may not be easy, but is necessary to reach your professional potential: “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring in a folding chair.”

Ericka Spradley, President of My Next Level ensures ambitious professionals and students get hired. As a Career Coach, Adjunct Professor and Author (“30 Min. Career Coach: Interview Basics for High School Students”, “7 Days to Confident Interviews”), she empowers others to take their interviewing skills to the next level so they can ultimately secure employment. Ericka also provides career support/guidance for clients when she’s not working tirelessly to change the career readiness conversation and course curriculum to include interviewing skills. To download your complimentary copy of “5 Simple Strategies to Land Your Ideal Job” click here