Post by Jane K. Stimmler, contributing Women On Business writer
It’s a new decade, a new year and the traditional time for resolutions. And, with women’s progress at the highest levels of business going slowly or even stalled, it seems like a good time to think about the resolutions that could make us more successful in the coming year.
1. Be passionate about the work you do – or make a change.
You won’t be truly successful if you don’t love what you’re doing, so assess your level of satisfaction with your present work and, if it doesn’t float your boat, think about what would. What would you really enjoy doing and how could you make that happen?
2. Develop political savvy.
Whether or not you like the idea of organizational politics, it’s always there. So it’s smart to figure out the way things work, who makes decisions, and what the real story is – so the information can be of benefit to you.
3. Think before you speak.
Women have a way of processing thoughts out loud until we finally get to the point. Others (especially men) see this as rambling and turn off to it. Instead, think about what you want to say, position the best way to say it, and then speak strategically and succinctly.
4. Keep it all business.
Don’t take things personally, though it’s sometimes hard not to. When you have a disagreement on a project, or if someone talks over you in a meeting, don’t take it to heart. Just keep your cool and try to respond rather than react to the situation.
5. Match your appearance to your aspirations.
Do you look like the professional you want to be? Make sure your style is appropriate for your work environment – and for your goals. It’s always best to dress up a notch from your present position.
6. Fine tune your leadership style.
Your impact and presence categorize you as a person with authority – or not. If you want to be a leader in your organization or in your field, assess your leadership skills and style. Then seek the help you need to improve – find a coach, read books, or get a mentor.
7. Build up your confidence.
Keep your spirits up and your confidence high by listing and reviewing your skills, experience and, importantly, your recent accomplishments. Write them down so that they stick in your mind.
8. Stay focused on your goals.
Think about your goals, updating and reevaluating them as necessary. If you don’t stay focused, you can easily get sidetracked.
9. Seek out new contacts.
Make it a priority to expand your network and make new contacts. Think about people you’d like to know, including those who could potentially help you in your career goals, and find a way to meet them.
10. Take calculated risks.
Be brave enough to make positive changes in your life, to speak up in meetings, or to ask for a promotion. Think through the upside and the downside first – and then if it makes sense to do it – take a risk. Otherwise, you may find yourself stuck.
Oh, and one more good resolution would be to read my book, Breaking Into the Boys’ Club, which has many additional tips on how women can be more successful!
What are your New Year’s resolutions? Please join the conversation!