Breaking the glass ceiling: Career planning for young women

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On the one hand, many homemakers in India are aspiring to become entrepreneurs, as you saw in the previous module. But on the other hand, a recent Economic Survey shockingly revealed that 60% of women in India, aged between 15 and 59, are engaged in full-time housework. Many young women are often forced to quit their nascent careers when they tie the knot. Yet others may find it hard to pick up their careers after they take a break to have children.

Against this backdrop, it is evident that a lot needs to change in the way things function in India’s workplaces. In addition to that, career planning for women can also help. There are many career women who have left a lasting mark on the industries they were a part of. You were introduced to five such stellar leaders in the previous module.

Drawing inspiration from them can help you understand how to advance your career as a woman. If you’re looking for more guidance to help you break the glass ceiling, here are some essential career planning tips you’ll find useful.

1. Keep your resume updated

Your resume is one of the most important things that you would need to sort out before you go out looking for career opportunities. In addition to being well-written, clear, and concise, your resume should always stay updated.

Considering the fact that your resume is the only thing that an organization gets to see first, it is crucial to have an attractive and updated resume. Always ensure that you list your most recent achievements and qualifications first. This way, the hiring manager gets to see your latest accomplishments, which basically puts them in a better position to judge your ability.

2. Develop a personal brand

If you’re still wondering how to advance your career as a woman, build a brand centered around yourself. This way, you’re almost guaranteed to get many career opportunities your way. A personal brand makes you more recognizable and therefore, is likely to get you noticed.

When you go about building a brand as a career woman, ensure that you also focus on building a strong reputation. This will not only ensure that you get a job almost instantly if you decide to switch positions, but will also help you stay protected in the case of any layoffs.

 

3. Know where you are headed

This is one of the best career planning for women tips aspiring to build a lasting career. Before you go ahead and chart out the rest of your career plan, always get the end goal right first. Otherwise, you would be forced to aimlessly take up one position after another without making any significant progress in your career. For instance, if you’re just starting out with a career in finance, ask yourself where you would ideally want to see yourself in the next 5 years, or the next 10, and have those milestones as the goals guiding your plan.

4. Network, network, network

For career women, the importance of networking cannot be stressed enough. With the right people in your network, you can find yourself advancing through the ranks and moving from strength to strength quickly. You could start off by developing a network within your existing organization, and by retaining any connections from your previous workplaces.

And from there, you could slowly branch out and form networks outside your organization but within your field. Although it might feel like tough work, building a network is always worth the time and effort that you put in.

5. And of course, upskill, upskill, upskill

When it comes to career planning for women, the mantra that you need to follow diligently - ‘Never stop learning.’ Even if you find yourself good at something, keep at it and don’t stop there. If there’s a new development in your field, ensure that you take some time to work on it and build your skill. Always remember, working women who focus on upskilling tend to find themselves in far better positions in their career than those who don’t.

In addition to the points mentioned above, there are some other things too that you can do to climb the career ladder faster. Here is a quick look at three such techniques that you can adopt.

  • Always take on new challenges
  • Project confidence
  • Be someone people want to work with

Wrapping up

Now that you know how to advance your career as a woman, all you need to do is employ these ideas and watch your career grow. And with this, we’re done with yet another chapter of this module. In the next one, we’ll be dealing with investing and trading in the stock market and the things that you need to know in this regard.

A quick recap

  • Your resume is one of the most important things that you would need to sort out before you go out looking for career opportunities. 
  • You also need to build a brand centered around yourself. A personal brand makes you more recognizable and therefore, is likely to get you noticed. 
  • And before you go ahead and chart out the rest of your career plan, always get the end goal right first.
  • With the right people in your network, you can find yourself advancing through the ranks and moving from strength to strength quickly.
  • And of course, upskill, upskill, upskill.

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FAQ'S

The ideal thing would be to start investing at the beginning of your career. From the time you earn your first paycheck, make sure you save up at least 20% of your income. In case you have too many liabilities at that point in your career, make sure you clear your debts sooner than later, so you can redirect those funds towards your investments instead.
Upskilling is the practice of updating your existing skills and areas of expertise, so they are in tune with the latest developments in the field. Reskilling is the practice of learning a new skill, so you can make the transition into a new role or adjust to major changes in your current job.
Generally speaking, a new career comes with significant financial changes. Your income may increase or decrease, and depending on the nature of the new career, the possibility of a steady income may also increase or decrease. So, it is best to revisit your financial plan and modify it as needed.
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