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I’m a business woman — against all odds and with a very different mindset and modus operandi to what’s accustomed. I’ve become one over the course of the last 10 months, and I want to tell you all about it.
Let’s get the basics out of the way first. When you Google “businessman,” the very first definition that shows up is as follows: a man who works in business or commerce, especially at an executive level.
When you Google “businesswoman,” you get the exact same definition, which is a nice change to your usual discrimination on specific searches regarding sex, age, race, or gender. What caught my eye specifically in the definition was the usage of the word in a contextual sentence, “She has become quite the savvy businesswoman.” Notice how this woman has changed into the business role, presumably, recently.
Like the woman spoken of in this very simple sentence, who until just recently seems to have acquired the credibility of a businessperson, women in the workplace still struggle to find their credibility acknowledged by their peers, but you already knew that.
Moreover, the representation that a Google search portrays of what a businesswoman should look like is nothing like what my current situation actually is. Variations of a brunette show up on the search engine, with fairly good looks, very demure in make up, wearing a plain slacks and blazer ensemble in black over a crisp white shirt, all of this on an overall white backdrop. She’s crossing her arms, smiling, and letting you know she’s approachable but also ready for whatever the day may bring.
We All have Our Own Rendition
Going back to MY specific situation, a generally calm Wednesday has turned into a busy go-getter day in which I need to organize it, prioritize, juggle meetings and follow ups, get things running on different leads, and make sure I collect the necessary information to reach my division’s objectives for the week. I’m doing all of this from the comfort of our open office filled with young-laidback-focused-startup-minded professionals. Today I’m wearing sneakers, a loose fit striped shirt and leggings. I look nothing like our brunette described earlier on. I am a businesswoman.
I’ve had to earn this title and show my peers and superiors that I can indeed handle the tasks that come with it. Like everything that requires effort and commitment, it’s an ongoing, ever-changing, constantly learning and relearning role. The transition hasn’t been easy, but thanks to the available tools and support available to me, it’s an upward effort that keeps improving. Rising to the occasion and putting the businesswoman tag on is an intimidating thing to do in itself. Not only because of having to reach your metrics, improve the efforts made, and bring value to your company, but because of the pressure that is immediately placed upon us when recognized as one.
It’s Easy if You Try
As women in the workplace, it’s always expected of us to, at some point, lash out in emotion and have this affect the operation in which everybody else is involved. And on a more realistic level, I have actually seen women and their omnipresent defensiveness rise up and cause tension between members of a work team, needless tension to say the least. Humans in general, not just women, have a hard time setting their emotions and personal opinions aside so they don’t get in the way of the decisions that need to be made with better judgment in the workplace. It’s a trial and error process in which we need to constantly try new and effective practices that assure this better judgment.
Living by specific values or intentions in the workplace leads to a better portrayal of yourself, and more importantly ensures you are handling all situations like the professional you’re expected to be. Showing empathy to others is easier said than done, but when practiced, properly ensures you rise above potentially messy situations. Rather than feeling sorry for someone and having an at-least-you-tried mindset towards others, we must lower ourselves to what they might be dealing with and think of what we would actually do in a situation like that.
Embracing an ever-growing attitude towards your endeavors at work gets rid of any possible negative thought or trigger that may lead to a faulty decision. When you focus on growing, on making your client grow as you grow, simultaneously, every decision you make takes that into consideration. There’s no room for jealousy, envy, or ill-advised attitudes towards anybody involved. Growing means improving, and if the rest of your team is growing, so are you.
Combining these with humbleness just adds to the equation. It’s hard to practice these previous values in a reiterative manner, doing it while being humble at all times is nearly impossible. But this is what sets you apart from being another peon in the office, and setting out to be the businesswoman you know you have to be. Do not mistake humbleness for modesty though, credit must be given where it’s due. When you manage to handle your objectives in an effective manner and also build on your work relations, you are stacking up on growth points. The combination sounds easy to achieve, yet it’s anything but that when attempted. Remaining humble may be a difficult thing to assess. You must keep yourself grounded as the payoff comes along while also patting yourself on the back for achieving what you initially thought was difficult.
Overall, all of these can get enclosed into one simple word that in itself could be considered a way of life — accountability. When you hold yourself accountable for your actions and its results, you tread lightly but surely. You hold all of the important factors into consideration and evaluate how these decisions affect you, your client, and the rest of your team. Accountability means you think through before acting. Having this mindset ingrained in your system affects your actions on the most basic level. You think before speaking even if the required answer is a simple yes or no because you know that how you express yourself has implications that go far beyond what’s being said.
Be the businesswoman you’ve set yourself to be, evaluate yourself, and keep growing. If you can already call yourself a businesswoman, the road can only go up from here. Say it out loud and make sure you say it proud, “I am a businesswoman.”
About the Author
Larissa is the Marketing Operations Lead at Studypool, an online site dedicated to finding the best homework help available for students virtually anywhere in the world. Connecting the best tutors online with students in need, tutoring is a great way to become the one in charge of your business at your convenience.