Five essential skills every woman should develop for career advancement

As career women in the post-1950s Stepford Wives era, the opportunities for professional advancement are more readily available to us than ever before.

Certainly, we are still being paid considerably less than our male counterparts. However, if we commit ourselves to developing the skills we need to advance our careers, we can go far.

Of course, when it comes to breaking the glass ceiling, this can, admittedly, take considerably more effort for women than it does for men. But if we dedicate our efforts to our personal growth, the professional benefits will follow. So what are the essential skills every woman should develop for her career advancement? Let us guide you through. 

1) Analytical abilities

To get ahead in your career, you need to be able to think both critically and analytically. Analytical abilities are especially important in the corporate world, where you need to be able to problem-solve, troubleshoot, and think on your feet. The ability to quickly come up with solutions under pressure is a massive benefit of analytical thinking skills. 

Often the most effective way to develop analytical skills is to complete a tertiary qualification that focuses on how to develop these capabilities. A great example is completing the Graduate Certificate in Policy Evaluation online which is an educational pathway that can assist with developing the analytical abilities you need to advance your career. 

2) Confident communication

Being a clear, confident, and competent communicator is central to career advancement. If you can’t get your point across, nobody will pay attention, and you are unlikely to elicit the results you want to achieve.

To convey your perspective most effectively, then, you need to be both articulate and persuasive, and also, be able to keep your communications concise, relevant, and easy to understand. Ensure you add value with everything you say – if you’re just fluffing, people are unlikely to listen! 

In saying this, effective interaction is also dependent on being a good listener. Careful, considered communication should always be a two-way exchange. Master the skill of active listening, and you will garner the respect of people around you.

Of course, as a woman, earning the respect of your peers is also dependent on your ability to be assertive. Being able to stand your ground, and being firm but polite when communicating with your colleagues, are central aspects of assertiveness. 

3) Teamwork techniques 

The ability to collaborate with your co-workers is also an essential part of advancing your career. 

For women in particular, this means being able to take directions, but also, step up to lead when required. It means not being intimidated or discouraged by self-doubt, and also, taking initiative when you identify areas that can be improved. 

In addition to this, taking initiative when tasked with teamwork is sure to capture the attention of those in charge. Pulling your weight in a collaborative effort is often not enough. Sometimes it takes committing to going above and beyond to impress your managers and get yourself further professionally. 

4) Diligence and dedication 

Yes, as a woman, having ambition can get you far. But often, the only way to progress your career is to do the hard yards. This means being dedicated and committed to your professional growth, and also, being diligent in your work. Hard work gets noticed by employers and as such, is a sure-fire way to secure that promotion. 

After all, the big bosses want to be assured that their employees are not only competent but also, that they are prepared to roll their sleeves up. Nobody likes laziness, so if you want to excel career-wise, you’ll need to put in the effort.

5) Prioritising peace

Lastly, don’t forget to prioritise your peace. Developing the skills of self-care is essential in regulating stress, and minimising the risk of burnout. Try a yoga class for stress relief, or even, just schedule some quiet time for yourself. Focus on your diet and exercise, and try to keep your lifestyle balanced and healthy.

Make sure to recharge your social battery during your downtime. You may wish to do this alone, with your favourite TV series, or in the company of friends and loved ones. Either way, ensuring that you are relaxed, recharged and rejuvenated will enable you to tackle the many challenges ahead of you on your career journey.