Some advice I have received and lessons I’ve learned along the way.
- Be willing to take criticism because it’s crucial to the learning process.
- Study your superiors. At work, I am surrounded by brilliant female leaders. Learning from their example is incredibly valuable.
- Find internships. Go to workshops. Obtain all possible experience.
- Be creative and innovative in the workplace. You are young and offer a fresh outlook into your field. Contribute your ideas and think outside of the box.
- Understand that you’re never beneath any kind of work, and you’d be surprised what you can learn from seemingly meaningless tasks.
- Never feel you have to dress less feminine to be respected by others. Your appearance should be irrelevant in professional circumstances. It is your personal choice. Leaders can wear pink. Just be modest and professional and the rest is up to you.
- On that same note, never feel that your appearance in general matters more because of your gender. It should be unrelated to the confidence you have in career situations.
- Don’t be ashamed or afraid to ask for help.
- Write thank-you letters and send thank-you emails. Be clearly and verbally appreciative at all times.
- Try to save money in all of the little ways that you can. Pack lunches, get rewards cards for gas points, and shop at Tj Maxx for your blazers instead of the mall. You want to be able to make money from your job, not spend more on it than needed.
- Be friendly with everyone at work and in your classes. I mean everyone. I am friends with the janitors, and they’re awesome.
- Not only does being kind to your co-workers create a more positive environment for you to work in, but it is tremendously essential that you can work well with others if you want to be successful.
- Understand your place and try to be ambitious while still refraining from creating any conflicts or undermining anyone’s authority.
- Be flexible. Your role will change often. New experience is new knowledge and ultimately leads to being more well-rounded in your field.
- Never underestimate the power of your education. If you have the opportunity and the means to further it, you should do so.
- That being said, you don’t always have to pay an absurd amount of money for that education. You are often in control of what you get out of an education based upon how much you are willing to put in. There are plenty of options and there’s nothing wrong with being sensible about funding your schooling.
- Try to keep personal relationships out of the workplace. They can be messy and you don’t want it to interfere with the success of your work. Also, seeing someone every day after a fall out can be incredibly uncomfortable for both parties.
- Keep up with current news in your field. Read articles and blogs. Keep your knowledge fresh.
- Be respectful. You don’t have to like everyone you work with, but you do have to show them respect.
- Always have a back-up plan for the possibility of one job opportunity not working out.
- Have a back-up plan for your back-up plan.
- Basically, just make plans. Be prepared for numerous possibilities.
- Don’t ever feel professionally inferior because you’re a woman. Yes, women are still the minority among leaders and in management positions, but that’s an opportunity, not a setback.
- Sometimes you will feel like you have to work a little harder to make an impression than a man would, that’s okay. Don’t use that as a crutch, use it as a motivator to be better.
- You’re inevitably going to change your mind about exactly what you want to do. Understand that there is nothing wrong with that and just be responsible with your career changes.
- Be on good terms with your past employers and keep in touch. No door is ever really closed unless you allow it to be.
- Put emphasis on the importance of small gestures. Make eye contact and shake hands.
- Never be afraid to express your ideas to superiors. You win some and you lose some, but you win nothing if you keep your thoughts to yourself and confine your creative abilities.
- Be patient. It’s easy to get frustrated when you aren’t reaching the place in your career that you had hoped. The fact is that all good things come with time, and maintaining a positive attitude is vital.
- Keep your head up, your coffee strong, and your dreams in view, and you will achieve anything that you set your mind to.
Lexi is the founder of HerTrack.com. She is also an SEO Nerd living in New York City with her cat and collection of cheesy coffee mugs. Lexi contributes to a number of online publications and is always trying to get involved in the conversation. She’s an advocate for equality, knowledge, healthy relationships, compassion, self-confidence, integrity and above all, love. She’s addicted to caffeinated beverages and people who make her smile.