The Career Challenges Every #GirlBoss Faces on Their Journey to Success
No matter where you are in your career, how junior or senior you are, or even what career and industry you work in, every now and then a challenge crops up that you have to work hard emotionally and physically to overcome and resolve. More often than not these challenges are the same for all career journeys …
Finding ways to overcome these hurdles, tackle difficult situations and resolve issues you are faced with is an important learning curve for any career girl, and a key skill set you develop the more you experience and the more you progress. But no matter where you are in your career journey, no matter what industry you work in and no matter if you’re self employed or working for a big company, having a little help and advice to help you on your career journey and some tips to help you overcome these challenges is always welcome.
Keeping an objective, strong and rational mindset, and maintaining some good business and human perspective is always a good starting point when dealing with difficult situations successfully … but today I thought I’d share some more detailed advice for 5 specific career challenges every girl boss faces in her career.
5 CAREER CHALLENGES EVERY GIRL BOSS WILL FACE & HOW TO OVERCOME THEM
When you’re dealing with a difficult person or client
In most industries and in most roles you’ll face a client, someone you’re working with or for, someone who’s hired you for a project, or someone you’re required to work with for whatever reason, that is a little more difficult than you’d like. Mostly you hope people are respectful, collaborative and grateful for you, your time and your work, but every now and then you encounter someone who perhaps is rude, ignorant, difficult or simply unrealistically demanding. Dealing and working with these people can be draining, demotivating and exceptionally difficult, but in reality it’s something we’re all likely to face in our careers. Knowing how to deal with these types of people, knowing yourself well enough to keep calm, rational and objective is essential, but testing at times.
Tip: During conversations with a tricky client or difficult person, try to sustain an objective conversation (keep to rational facts & figures, and avoid opinion, subjective statements or assumptions), listen to their points, acknowledge the situation and respond at a later time, when you’ve had a chance to calm down, reflect and seek advice from your peers of colleagues. Maintaining control of yourself and your emotions in the moment is essential. More often than not there’s a simple way to resolve tension, it just requires a breakdown of the issues, a review of options to proceed, and an adult conversation to align on the best way to progress.
When you want a payrise or promotion
Asking for a payrise or the opportunity to be considered for a promotion can be nerve wracking and scary, but the reality is, if you don’t ask you won’t get. So if you’re wanting a pay rise or looking for a promotion, then talking to your boss about your ambitions is essential, but more importantly you need to have a strong rationale and case as to why you believe you deserve it.
Tip: Organise regular time with your line manager to catch up on performance and delivery, ensure you have an honest conversation about your development and timings for progression, and a SMART set of objectives to work towards. Don’t expect everything to come on a plate, this is your career and your future and you must take control and lead it.
When you have unrealistic workloads and an unhealthy work life balance
Crazy work loads and unhealthy working hours can be a regular occurrence in some industries, the media industry in particular is very much like this, as are the likes of banking, law and journalism. What’s important is that you don’t allow these periods to become the norm and your standard working hours. A few weeks or months can be expected, sometimes busy periods just hit, but if it becomes ongoing and it begins to affect your health and wellness, then raising the issue with senior management is important. It’s not okay to accept an unhealthy work life balance as normal, but it’s up to you to raise it more often than not.
Tip: Try and think pragmatically about the situation – what’s the key issues, what’s causing the imbalance, what could be a potential solution? Don’t simply go to your boss with a problem, provide an idea or a potential solution. Have an adult conversation about it.
When you have to provide critical feedback
Us British hate to deliver bad news, truly we do, we are the Kings and Queens of ‘the sandwich’. The sandwiching of bad news between two positive pieces of feedback. It seems to be the only way we can deliver honest feedback without feeling guilty or rude. But feedback is exceptionally important, and to really affect positive change honesty and clarity is essential – there’s no point skirting around the edge to try and make a point, it’ll only confuse the person you’re talking to or leave them not fully understanding the issues.
Tip: Be prepared, outline the key points that need to be raised, provide clear examples of when expectations haven’t been met to back up each point, and importantly provide a positive solution to advise how things should be handled or dealt with in the future. You’re helping them by providing honest feedback, as much as helping yourself by alleviating the issue.
When you’ve accepted a new job & need to resign
Resigning is an emotional situation that we all face at some point in our career, often more than once or twice. Unless you truly despise your company most people find resigning to be quite upsetting, nerve wracking and a daunting conversation to have to face. Leaving a company and accepting a new opportunity is a brave but exciting prospect, and a defining thing in your own personal career journey, but often what’s important to remember is that new joiners and leavers is ‘part n parcel’ with business, so don’t feel bad or guilty, simply be respectful and polite … More often than not you’ll be delighted how supportive (yet disappointed) your colleagues are, If you’re an asset then the last thing they will want to do is put you off coming back, and leaving on negative terms.
Tip: A face to face meeting is always important when you’re resigning, as well as this you should come prepared with a formal letter of notice for your employers to register. Be honest, be rational and be prepared for counter offers …
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Have you encouterted challenges and issues which you’ve had to tackle and overcome in your own career? I’d love to hear about your experiences and your tips too. Did you find this post helpful at all? I’d love to know what other types or careers or blog posts you’d like to see on mediamarmalade in the coming weeks.