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Three important ways to overcome career barriers successfully

Three important ways to overcome career barriers successfully

 March 23, 2022

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Navigating our career journey can be tricky, especially in fields historically dominated by men. However, owning our own adventure and navigating our individual career path can help us thrive and succeed in our roles of choice. 

Purpose, skills and experience can guide workplace success 

So how can we ensure our success as women in the workplace? By focusing on our higher purpose and on our skills and experience, there’s endless scope for us to cultivate a rewarding career journey with no limits. 

Indeed, by taking full responsibility and acting intentionally when charting our course for our professional journey, we can be better placed to achieve our career goals. 

Gone are the days of waiting for others and opportunities to land in our lap – by owning our own adventure we can be the master of our own destinies.  

Three ways to overcoming barriers to our career success 

There are three barriers we can often find on our road to career success - and here's what we can do about them.

The first obstacle is believing that our hard work is enough. Indeed, quite often women employees might assume that by out-performing they guarantee a rise up the career ladder, sadly however that’s not always the case. While it may offer a level of job security and pay rises, as women we're more likely to rise through the ranks if we not only work hard, but also work smart. We can also look at ways that we're helping our employer to excel, and we should absolutely be monitoring our work outcomes and not just the work itself. As such we're placing ourselves in a better position to get noticed. 

Secondly, networking is key. By disregarding the impact of forging career-enhancing relationships, we put ourselves on the back foot. Mentors and sponsors are key in any organization, and we can actively seek out useful mentors from within our networks. This can lay the groundwork for our future success as we nurture those relationships and match competencies with our desired experience. 

Thirdly, we need to understand that if we wait for opportunities rather than actively hunting them down, we may be more likely to fall behind our male peers.

Harvard Business Review cites imposter syndrome as one of the career challenges we face in the workplace. Meanwhile a survey by Catalyst, a non-profit working to accelerate women into leadership, found that 45 per cent of women business leaders say that it’s difficult for women to speak up in virtual meetings, and one in five women say they have felt ignored or overlooked by colleagues during video calls. However, in order to succeed, we do need to feel confident and empowered to speak up, show up, and have confidence in ourselves so we get noticed by our superiors.  

Building our professional brand 

So, how can we open ourselves up to endless career possibilities at our fingertips? 

Self reflection, embracing and acknowledging strengths and weaknesses, and seeking out and refining our higher purpose are all great places to start. And, when teamed with a specific goal and an accountability plan, we're setting ourselves up for a rewarding career journey. 

As mentioned, networking is key, as is a commitment to being a lifelong learner. If your company doesn’t provide adequate learning opportunities, the onus is on us to go and seek them out for ourselves. 

And finally, we need to remember that we are our own professional and personal brand. By building a brand, and honing in on our individual unique selling point (USP), we are investing in our future career success. This can help to positively develop our reputation across industry, and help forge a positive perception of us within our workplace. 

Own your own career adventure with a prime employer for women 

Ready to forge your carer to the next level? 

Develop your confidence, ability and expertise and get searching for some great jobs with prime employers.


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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.


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