By Shea Ki
In 2020, women held 38% of manager-level positions, while men held 62%.
There was already SO much work for equality to do.
But did you know that some of women’s progress that we have made in the workplace is set to reverse due to the coronavirus pandemic?
These are just two facts from a much longer list that refuel my passion for what I do here for the Upgrade My Interview community everyday.
This blog post will offer several tips and resources you can use for yourself or share with a friend whose future at work you care about. My hope is that the information helps lessen the effects the pandemic is having on so many of our careers.
Take Inventory Now
When was the last time you thought about YOUR needs, resources, and support that you have for career development?
Maybe you are in a work environment where their employee's well-being and growth are kept a top priority. Perhaps you have Human Resources that you can trust, an in-house employee assistance program, or an assigned mentor or leader that has taken you under their wing during these harder times. Do all women a favor and PLEASE take advantage of those offerings if you haven't already. It is best to utilize them BEFORE small problems become big ones.
If you are a freelancer, solopreneur, recently laid off, or thinking about re-entering the workforce now that the kids are kinda-sorta back in school, such support is likely not easily accessible. If so, it is more important than ever to join up with other groups of women in similar circumstances. It truly takes a village to gain career momentum and you will get further faster with a team beside you.
These links can help you start exploring opportunities that will attract other supporters for your career success:
11 Professional Women's Organizations
Female Entreprenuer's Association
Girls Night Live
Professional Organizations For Women and Minorities
Prepare To Pivot
Just when we think our work days are hitting a routine again and things are calming down, something new with the pandemic comes along. The ever-changing mitigations, possible closings happening again, and often confusing information about COVID-19 is taking a heavy toll on all of us. The bottom line, morale, and employee retention of most businesses and organizations are also taking a serious hit during this time of what some are calling "The Great Re-signation" or others have labeled as "The She-Cession".
The complications are making many of us vulnerable more than usual to a career change, expected or unexpected. And then maybe another soon after.
These 3 questions will help you take inventory of where you stand with being ready for one:
1. When you imagine 3 years from now, do you have clarity on what type of work and company you most want to work for?
2. Have you practiced your interview skills within the past year, including how to authentically, concisely, and effectively communicate during online interviews?
3. Is your LinkedIn Profile up to date and utilizing all the new features available, such as the 30 second video cover story, to boost your career network?
It is okay if you didn't say yes to all three yet. If you answer no to any one of these questions, my concern about your career journey would raise but I would not be alarmed. But if you have two or more "no's", then it is definitely time to make your career goals and strategy to do work that fits and feels good a top priority.
Otherwise, if you don't make a plan now to change those yes's to no's and execute it by the end of this year, you risk A LOT. Not doing anything about it will make you more likely to be trapped in a toxic work situation or be otherwise negatively impacted for a longer time by whatever happens.
Taking a more pro-active approach to prepare, practice, and plan for a career change or promotion sets you up for the freedom to have options for your next, best career step.
Offer SPECIFIC Help To Other Women
This next guidance is not for everyone. So, if your cup already runneth over, here is your permission slip to hold back on helping anyone else right now. Seriously. There is just TOO much sometimes.
Sometimes it takes courage and strength to say "No" to more obligations and focus on helping ourselves first.
But maybe by some amazing circumstance your career is not taking a hit in some way like most women.
If you have some energy and care to spare, it is needed now by other professional women.
But what do others need from you to re-enter, rise up, or keep steady with where they are in the workforce? Sometimes when we are going through a tough time, it is hard to ask or even know what we need. When we are offered specific help instead of being asked, "what do you need?", it right away provides a sense of relief and support like nothing else can.
And it doesn't have to be complicated or take a lot out of your already busy schedule. Choosing even one of these ideas will make a positive impact on another woman's future at work:
Most of all, keep taking extra good care of yourself.
Your skills, ideas, and voice are needed more than ever in the world of work.
Thanks for visiting Upgrade My Interview™!