Although women are rightly making great strides in the name of gender equality in the workplace, there is still room for improvement. In male-dominated industries, women can have a hard time getting ahead. Entering the workforce for the very first time means learning how to navigate sexism, overcome stereotypes, and break through that glass ceiling so you can achieve your career goals. But you don’t have to face it alone.
Seek Professional Guidance
Entering the workforce for the first time can be pretty overwhelming. Consider working with a professional coach who can offer guidance during this transition. A life coach will help you learn how to leverage your skills and strengths to maximize the positive impact you have on the world. This can give you the confidence you need to overcome workplace barriers and thrive in a male-dominated industry. And if you’re not sure what you want to do or who you want to be, a life coach can help you define your goals and develop a plan to reach them.
Find a Government Job
These days, it seems like for every new business that launches, two more end in bankruptcy – leaving their employees in a terrible position. Add to that the additional difficulties that women often face in the workplace and it’s natural to want some job security – and finding a government job is a great way to get it.
Find a Female Mentor
Sadly, women face a significant lack of representation in leadership positions. According to Together, only 6% of Fortune 500 company CEOs are female. Female mentors can serve as a valuable alternative to these essential role models. Not only will a mentor inspire you to achieve more, but they’ll guide and advise you as you navigate the workforce for the first time.
There are many different ways to find a female mentor. First, find out if your organization offers a mentorship program for employees. Consider seeking guidance from more than one woman, including those working in other industries. Having multiple mentors from different walks of life will enable you to access a wide range of unique perspectives to guide your career moves.
Speak Up for Yourself
For many women, learning to be assertive goes against everything we’ve been taught. We’re raised to be gentle, respectful, and apologetic. But this can minimize the importance of what you have to say. Try being more assertive at work! Focus on being respected rather than liked. Know your self-worth, learn how to speak with assertive language, and prepare ahead for meetings and presentations so you feel confident about what you have to say. If someone disrespects you at work, don’t hesitate to push back and speak up for yourself.
Build Up Other Women
As a woman, you will play an important role in the development of an inclusive culture at your workplace. Do what you can to support other women as they strive for success. For example, try offering words of encouragement when you see another woman working hard. Don’t laugh away casual office sexism that’s disguised as a shot at humor. Importantly, try to be aware of your own internal biases so you can avoid judging or stereotyping other women in your workplace.
While landing your first job is bound to be exciting, it can also be a little scary. Unfortunately, young women don’t always feel welcome in the workplace, especially those in male-dominated industries. Connect with a great mentor, find your confidence, and stick up for yourself. You got this!