Let’s face it, the odds are stacked against us women in the workplace. The recent BBC pay gap furore brought to the surface the frankly absurd, but real bias faced by women in the workplace when it comes to pay.
While many were fuming at the unfairness of the male staff getting paid more for doing the same job, there was another layer of outrage that mainstream media overlooked, and that was the scarcity of ethnic minority staff anywhere near the earnings or seniority of even their white female counterparts.
While that particular battle is ongoing and shows no sign of being resolved in the near future, there are many other careers that give much better prospects for advancing. With thought and planning, there is no reason why, armed with the right tricks of the trade and insider knowledge, you can’t build a credible and successful career.
We recently caught up with media communications specialist, Louise Chandler, founder of Soundbite Media, to ask her advice on four ways to network and boost career connections. Follow her advice below, and your career should rocket to the top!
Nurture likeminded cheer leaders
As you develop your career and professional reputation, you will no doubt meet likeminded individuals that you just click with. Don’t let them go! Keep them close to you, why not go one step further and form a supportive group to encourage and boost each other? These are the people who can share their stories of success or challenges and they could become your biggest advocates. I like to call these people my cheerleaders, people who can inspire or console me when I’ve had a bad day. Create your own cheerleader group that you can nurture and treasure.
Use LinkedIn algorithms
If you haven’t got a LinkedIn profile, what are you waiting for? Make sure you sign up asap. It is a wonderful place to network with your friends, work colleagues, graduate alumni and future work mates.
To get the best out of LinkedIn, make sure you have a profile that is complete with a head and shoulder profile image. It’s important that you fully complete your work history and achievements, now is not the time to be coy. It’s also best practice to connect with as many people as you can and regularly share articles, making sure you like, comment and engage with people, you will soon become an active user who is visible.
It is a great PR tool for you and your skills so start exploring and using it fully.
Get to know and follow your leaders of industry
What does this mean? Well, you must have a list of people in your field that you admire from afar, perhaps they have excelled and achieved great things? It’s time to get a little closer to them, look in more detail how they got to where they are. What can you learn from their journey? If you are able to, make a point of attending any speaking engagements they attend, you never know, you may have a chance to talk and learn from their experiences. Before you get carried away, we’re not advocating stalking, but people are often flattered when they are approached and told they are an inspiration. Social media is another great way to reach out and connect to people in an easy and informal way – this could be your chance to talk to your role model, so go for it!
Get yourself a mentor who can be constructive and honest
It’s understandable at times to feel like you have entered a career cul de sac and you don’t know what to do next. Self-development is a wonderful thing and one of the best ways of seeking a fresh perspective is by getting a mentor. Your mentor should be someone who is friendly, helpful and objective. It doesn’t really matter if they are not in the exact same field as you as sometimes their knowledge can fill a skills gap that you might have. A mentor should be someone that you can respect and trust, that way, if they offer you advice, that is a little hard to swallow, you know that you should really listen.