Is it worth the turmoil to have ambition in a male-dominated environment that sometimes considers you an outsider? Do you feel like your male colleagues think you are pushy and aggressive when ambitious?
Sheryl Sandberg said, ‘we need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamics and reshape the conservation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.’
When you struggle with such challenges at work, it could impact your confidence and capacity to hold on to your ambition throughout your career.
Four ways to upskill yourself
We’ve compiled four ways we believe could help you upskill your way to your goals.
1.Work on your self-esteem
Self-esteem can be affected by various factors such as;
- lacking form of security in your life
- having doubts concerning your body, gender and your sexuality
- always feeling out of place among friends, family or colleagues.
It is important to have positive self-esteem because it affects everything you do.
Here are a few tips to improve your self-esteem:
- Be kind to yourself
Always make an effort to speak to yourself the same way you would speak to others.
Make a conscious decision every day to be nice to yourself.
That voice in your head that motivates or demotivates you has more power than you could ever imagine.
If and when you mess up, try to get rid of any negative thoughts as soon as possible.
- Be yourself
Focus on your goals and achievements instead of comparing them with another person. You do not need that amount of pressure!
When you make the mistake of comparing yourself, you are certain to feel low and even dislike yourself.
- Join an exercise program
Exercising is a sure way to practice goal-setting, build your confidence and even increase your motivation.
As you sweat more and more, you release endorphin, the hormone that makes you feel good about yourself.
- Allow yourself to make mistakes
We all slip in one way or another, all of us. Avoid beating yourself up when you blunder. After all, you need to make mistakes to learn and grow.
- You are not perfect
Sometimes you have an image in your head that you want to live up to. However, you need to remember that perfection is not realistic; you can only strive to be your best version.
2.Overcome your challenges and get out of your comfort zone
Life can feel safe and familiar in your comfort zone, but you miss so many opportunities and potentials while in your comfort zone. Here are a few ideas to get you out of your comfort zone:
- If there’s one thing you always want to do, do it!
Pick the one thing on your bucket list and do it. Challenge yourself and begin to do it. It can be changing your dress code, waking up a little earlier or even getting more sleep.
- Change your routine
If you have a routine that you have worked with over time, it can be a source of stability and help you get things done. However, you can feel trapped when you depend too much on it.
One way to get unstuck is to rattle up your routine. For instance, if you are always working from home, you can try working in a cafe or a restaurant and observe how you react to the change.
- Face your fears
When you choose to be brave, you do not eliminate fear but move ahead despite your fear.
You should be brave enough to get out of your comfort zone.
If, for instance, you’re afraid of heights, start by going for relatively smaller heights.
- Expand your professional skills
When you are very comfortable in a role that you have grown out of, you can get stuck when you need to progress in your career.
Learn a new skill which will give you an added advantage, making you easily employable.
Improve yourself with skills in demand in your field using your organization’s resources.
Leaving your comfort zone will have several rewards, such as building your resilience, increasing your personal growth, increasing your self-esteem, and having fewer regrets.
- Upgrade your education and skills
You can do this by:
- Attending professional events- such events always increase your knowledge of the growth and development in your area of specialization.
Always treat such events like seminars and workshop forums as opportunities to network constructively, share ideas and brainstorm with others. This can provide fresh perspective and insight.
- Invest in further education
Furthering your education can boost your reliability and demonstrate your commitment to your career. When you become an expert in a new program before it floods the field and you commit to maintaining the needed standards via program certification or remaining on top of the trends by joining a class. This can bring you more income and position you very competitively in your area of specialization.
- Online marketing
You can make use of social sites like linked in and connect with people who are high in rank at companies that interest you. Use social media to creatively make your service or brand known, interact with experts and maintain clients.
- Turn negative criticism into positive feedback
You can do this by :
- Ask questions to clarify
As you accept feedback, be sure to understand its true intent. Ask specific questions to understand exactly what you can do to fix and improve the issue.
- Understand negative feedback is not an attack on you personally
Good od feedback, especially negative, is generally about your behaviour or action, not about you as an individual. It would be best to not let feedback mess with your confidence because your worth is not connected to how somebody else thinks of you.
- Process your emotions
Take deep breaths, and remain calm and in control of your feelings.
If your feedback was delivered graciously, always show the exact respect.
Later, you can release your emotions privately and speak to somebody you trust to avoid bottling up feelings.
As a woman, you have high emotional intelligence and can focus on your goals better, so be confident and go for it, and see how you stand out at your workplace and in life. Eleanor Roosevelt said, ‘ No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.’