As women in the workforce, we need to strategize our way to get to the top. Work smarter, not harder. Before diving into the strategies below be sure to brush up on The Rules of the Game.
1. Align Yourself With Power Players
When transitioning into a new position, whether it be a different department or a new company altogether, it is important to be observant. Understand the social dynamic among your co-workers. Who truly has power and influence? Who is respected? Just because a person has a title, does not mean they have power or exercise it. Be sure to align yourself with the power players in your industry. These are the people who can make things happen! They will be KEY in your rise to the top.
2. Befriend Everyone, Trust No One.
It’s okay to be nice, but don’t be naive. Everyone in the workplace has their own personal agenda and when it comes down to helping out a “friend” or securing the bag to provide for your family, I’m sure most people will choose the latter. I have heard (and seen) some horror stories about co-worker relations. The best advice I can give is to be smart about how personal you become with people. It’s important to maintain control of your profession at all times. Lastly, keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.
Be sure to align yourself with the power players in your industry.
3. Build Your Personal Brand
If you are looking to be a BOSS, your drive and ambition on the inside should exude on the outside. The best way to create a name for yourself in your office, company, or industry is to jump at the opportunity to assist anyone who needs it in the beginning. Providing assistance without expecting or asking for anything in return is a great way to build connections, gain the trust of key power players, and eventually secure mentors.
Confidence is key. Think about what you would like to be known for and emphasize it. Do you want to be taken seriously and have everyone know that you mean business? Then step up in meetings, make sure your presence is known and stand behind your word. Do you want to be known as the most fashionable executive around? Then make dressing for work a lifestyle, not a chore. Do you want to be a subject matter expert that everyone goes to for professional advice? Then continuously study and stay up-to-date on industry trends and innovations in your field. I’m sure you get where I’m going with this.
4. Perfect Your Strategies
“Live life with purpose, on purpose” is a quote I LIVE by. Everything I do is strategic, no matter how big or small. As a Boss in training, it is important to have some type of blueprint in place to guide your steps. What is your end goal? What are you trying to achieve? I am notorious for creating 30-60-90 day plans that focus on building relationships, skill mastery, and career advancement. These plans minimize distractions and will help to guide me on the right path if I were to get off track.
“Live life with purpose, on purpose.”
5. Keep Your Morals In Tact
While on your journey to becoming a Boss, it’s important to avoid engaging in activities that may hurt your personal brand. Take the high road in conflict and lead by example. Don’t participate in negative aspects of the company culture. Stay true to who you are and don’t change. In a world full of scandals, remember ethics are important. Don’t become power-hungry, money can’t buy happiness.
6. Don’t Take Things Personal, It’s just business.
I have mentioned this before, but it is so important I must make note of it again. One of our greatest qualities as women is our ability to empathize, care, and nurture. This can also be a great weakness. Women tend to internalize everything and act with their feelings and emotions, men don’t. One thing about playing the game is that sometimes your opponents won’t play fair. Emotions aside, handle these situations like a Boss by keeping in mind the survival tactics above.