Any one can work in corporate America and stand out, even women.
I’ve mentioned this many times before but I have been in corporate America now for about 5 years working in various different industries such as Consumer Package Goods (CPG), Retail, and Market Research. During this time I have learned more about corporate America that I could ever imagine but I also have learned a lot about myself as a women in the workplace. I have to say, I have been lucky being a girl working in corporate America. I have been treated with respect, paid more than some coworkers (even guys) and felt comfortable speaking up when I don’t feel comfortable doing something. I know my experience can be much different than most so please keep that in mind when reading this post.
Over the past years, I have put my finger on how some women are successful in corporate America and why some aren’t. I wanted to share this post today to not only talk about my own experience but how to stand out as a woman in your current job.
Known your self worth. Never forget who you are and what makes you, you. You made it to where you are today because of your personality, your hard work, your values, and everything else. Never let someone change that or make you change who you are.
Stand up for yourself. I have observed many instances where women don’t stand up for themselves and they let men walk all over them. If you don’t feel comfortable doing something, say no. When someone asks for something and you think you have a better solution then suggest it! Don’t just do something because someone asks you to do it. If you know there is a better way of doing something or getting a more concrete answer to their business question then be confident and say it! That has by far been the #1 reason why I have been successful in all my roles. I know what I am capable of and I feel confident in what I bring to the table. 90% of the time it works in my favor and the other 10% was me realizing it wasn’t the best approach and I admitted that to the person. After that conversation where I admitted I was wrong, they had even more respect for me and they loved my willingness to go over and beyond to deliver.
Be willing to learn and ask a lot of questions. Whether you are starting a new role at your current company or a new company you HAVE to constantly be asking questions. It shows that you care and are eager to learn. If you don’t get something, ask. It looks better to ask now in the moment than down the line when you are expected to do something and you don’t know what to do. I have never had someone tell me that was a stupid question and I am always glad I ask for help when I need it. You aren’t expected to understand or known everything! Not even senior leadership knows everything.
Ask for more responsibility. This one is so important and do it only when you feel ready. You need to prove yourself to your boss and bosses boss that you can handle multiple tasks but to most importantly, complete them to perfection and go over and beyond. You can’t ask for more responsibility and give it 80% of your effort. You need to show what you are capable of doing all while doing a good job doing it.
Treat your manager and peers with respect. You know the saying, “treat others the way you want to be treated” well it is true in the corporate setting as well. In my different jobs I have luckily been relatively close with my coworkers and we are able to express our own personalities. When I worked at major retailer HQ in the Midwest, it was kind of a culture shock to what I was used to. I was working with a bunch of Midwesterners (no offense to people from the Midwest, I love you) who were not okay with my East Coast personality. In the workplace I take everything very seriously and can be a bit harsh. I am always go go go getting sh*t done and putting high expectations for myself but also the people that I work with. Why? Well I feel like that is the east coast (New York/Boston) way. I was told many times I can’t be as harsh and I needed to change my personality. This was hard because how do you change who you are? I learned I had to be more aware of u surroundings instead of adapting and changing my personality to match everyone else’s.
How has your experience been as a woman in the workplace?
Thanks for reading Elle’s Edit. If you have any topics that you would like for me to discuss, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you! xo