Three months into my speaking career, I was elated to secure a speaking gig at a top conference for professional women. I would be addressing my largest audience to date (350 people) and presenting on a topic I’m especially passionate about: how women can negotiate confidently and more often.
In short, I was terrified!
Thankfully I survived the talk. You can imagine my nerves a few weeks after the presentation when the organizers sent me summarized feedback: the presentation had ranked in the top 5 sessions of the entire conference! As I hungrily read the feedback for more details—and because I’m admittedly ‘Type A’—I noticed one theme under opportunities for improvement: that I should be less self-promotional.
A quiet sisterhood has been slowly building membership among professional women. The problem with this elusive “club” – which is approximately 7.3 million women strong – is that no one wants to be affiliated with it. What’s more, women often gain access right when their careers are beginning to peak and their experience had more value. I’m talking about the ever-increasing cohort of working women struggling with infertility.
**This article features Selena Rezvani's advice and originally appeared in CBS MoneyWatch by Amy Levin-Epstein on 10/21/2013.**
If your family budget or high school grades didn't allow you to attend a first-rate college, you might be experiencing negative repercussions during your job search or interviews. Certainly, going to a top-tier college can open doors, but not attending one doesn't close them and can even work in your favor, experts say:
This week I had the pleasure of being an expert guest on Huffington Post Live - talking about how millenials can learn and use negotiation, even amidst a difficult job market. I also had the chance to comment on what employers can expect from millenials. You can check out the full panel video here: http://on.aol.com/video/the-millennials-guide-to-salary-and-benefits-517908920
A young woman, Sofia, recently approached me at the POWER: Opening Doors for Women leadership event in Chicago. She explained that her youth, especially around older male workers within her advertising firm, seemed like a handicap. Instead of being given the benefit of the doubt, she routinely felt underestimated. On top of it, she lacked confidence when communicating new ideas or solutions, a factor that only hurt her credibility.
Is her youth indeed a hurdle or an asset?
The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. At least that’s what we thought when the daughters of working baby boomers flooded the job market. Gen Y women, boomers’ youngest working offspring, were expected to plunder the work world with unprecedented “uberdrive.” After all, they’ve seen their working moms make a living and raise a family; surely they’d take that formula and refine it, fueling it with even more wide-eyed drive. Gen Y women also present the most educated cohort of any before them, the least likely to see gender inequity as a problem at work, and report a voracious hunger for challenge on the job.
Gen Y women are not simply younger versions of professional women. They have highly distinct wants, motivations, and needs--some of which are quite the opposite of what you'd guess.
When I hear that women are graduating with the majority of bachelors and advanced degrees, I get butterflies. Surely, the advantage of educational credentials will give the next generation of women leaders a running start, right? Top degrees are important and needed, but not enough. In order to truly move from newcomer to leader, there are a number of practices we need to engage in on the job. What’s more, if you ask nearly any professional woman, she has a list of things she wishes she’d learned sooner about the work world.
Impatient. Well educated. Entitled. Globally minded. These are just a few of the traits that are commonly assigned to Generation Y. Born between the late '70s and late '90s, this generation―72 million strong―is entering the workforce in droves, and shaking things up along the way. While they're credited as being "technologically savvy with a social conscience," no other generation takes more heat for their work habits, due in part to "helicopter parents" and perceptions of continuous "career ADD."
Recently I had the pleasure of being a guest on the NBC10 Show, sharing 6 actions you can take to move your job search forward. I wanted to be sure and share these tips here in case you missed the show. As you read these, remember, the key to finding work in tough times is action!
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