What Are the Best Tips for Career Development for Women?

Helen Akers
Helen Akers
Effective networking can lead to a job promotion.
Effective networking can lead to a job promotion.

Career development for women is not always as easy as it is for men. The number of females in corporate leadership roles is significantly less than that of males; some believe that this is due to remaining gender stereotypes and social conditioning. A number of common career development strategies apply equally to women and men, including talking about career goals to supervisors, volunteering for additional projects, taking management development courses, and engaging in effective networking. Women can take on a more active role in their career development by searching for internal and external positions and enhancing their current skill sets to match those opportunities.

The idea of career development for women as a separate set of strategies is not new. Women are less likely to receive promotions and / or be given leadership positions for a variety of reasons. Some of those include women's responsibilities outside the office for child care and family needs; stereotypes that label women as emotional and passive; and their less expansive networking as compared to males. On average, women appear to get noticed for outstanding work performance rather than their ability to form solid relationships with decision makers in the company.

One of the best tips for career development for women is effective networking. Developing rapport and relationships with supervisors and other company leaders who might have a direct influence over promotions is vital. It is important for women to voice their desire to move up within the company while making their work performance and key accomplishments known. Women can also help advance their careers by finding a mentor within the company who is willing to "groom" them for positions that they aspire to obtain.

Workplace strategies that specifically involve career development for women should not remain focused on one company. Women need to expand their options and make sure that they seek out both internal and external job opportunities. Initiating a membership with a local professional affiliation or social networking group is one way to stay on top of potential outside jobs. If positions that a woman aspires to obtain do not match her current skill set, she should work on developing those skills.

Continuing education can be an important component in career development for women. While formal degree programs aren't always necessary, certification courses can help women gain the knowledge and skills they need to advance. It is also helpful if women volunteer for additional projects or committees at work that help them gain skills, experience and exposure. Putting together new proposals to improve existing processes or introduce new ones can also help females gain a competitive career edge.

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Discussion Comments

Raynbow

@heavanet- That is a very good point. Networking can be done in a variety of ways and settings, from joining professional organizations to linking up with others on professional online networking sites. Women who stay connected in these ways have more opportunities to develop their careers, especially when it comes time to look for new positions.

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    • Effective networking can lead to a job promotion.
      By: micro10x
      Effective networking can lead to a job promotion.