Article creator image

BY Fairygodboss

5 Things Working Moms Can Do To Keep Moving Their Careers Forward

Woman Moving Career Ahead

Photo credit: Motherly Media

TAGS: Working moms, Work-life balance, Career advice, Networking, Career goals, Feedback

Being a working mother is all about balancing priorities.

Sometimes home and work responsibilities have us running so hard that we forget to take a step back to think about the big picture, and specifically, to examine what we’re doing to move our career forward. Moreover, motherhood sometimes causes us to re-think our goals and desires.

If you realize you’re not learning anymore or engaged to your full potential, it’s usually a clear sign that you should push yourself to start seeking out the next level.

What is the next level? And how should you get to it?

No matter what the competing priorities, these are five steps you should make time to think about so your career continues to advance.

1. Identify your goal and dream big.

Take the time to really hone in on your long-term career goal. Where would you like to be in 20 years? Don’t worry—you’re not etching it in stone. You may decide to change this goal the next time you do your career planning. But it’s important to have a clear idea of your destination so you can plot out your journey.

Whatever your career goal, make sure you answer the call of your highest ambitions in selecting it. As Richard Branson says, “if you’re dreams don’t scare you, they are too small.” Often, women can talk themselves out of their highest goals—suffering from what has been called a “confidence gap.”

Don’t fall victim. Be your own supporter, not a critic.

2. Create a roadmap for your career, and do your research.

Once you have identified a clear and strong goal, map out a potential path that you could get you there. Again, this will most definitely change. But just like you would do for any business project, a plan-of-action is critical.

How can you get from Point A (where you stand today) to Point B i.e., your career goal? What skills or experiences will you need? What relationships will you need to build? To figure out the path that might get you where you want to go, take to the time to learn how others have succeeded. Use research tools—such as Levo or Fairygodboss—to be connected to successful women how have achieved in similar roles and fields so you can get a realistic picture of what traits are valued in your dream job.

And don’t be afraid to enlist a career coach. It’s absolutely a worthwhile investment. You can find one that’s right for you online, using a site like The Muse or Daily Worth.

3. Solicit honest feedback about your strengths and shortcomings.

It can be difficult and humbling to ask for feedback and here about where you need to improve. However, everyone needs to improve at something. Collecting honest and direct feedback from your boss or someone else you respect will certainly help you strengthen your value proposition as a professional.

So don’t be shy. Think of it as working out at the gym. It can feel painful...but the only way to get stronger—or in this case better at your profession—is to figure out where the weakness lies and work to improve it.

4. Read a lot—get smart about your “specialty”.

Find an emerging, topical area of your industry our business that interests you and get super-smart about it. Become an expert. For example, if you work in marketing, carve out a specific vehicle or social platform and become fluent in it. That way, you can become known as the person who knows everything about x.These days, there are lots of great online resources that allow you to take digital courses in many areas. For example, check out General Assembly for courses on everything from web development to data science to digital marketing.

Be loud and proactive about what you’ve learned. Tweet about it. Blog about it. Schedule meetings with leaders you admire and present your findings to them about it. Figure out a way to use your speciality to help drive your company’s performance.

This will help heighten your reputation around the company and get you noticed when you otherwise might not have been.

5. Network a lot.

Whoever said “getting ahead is all about who you know” was absolutely right. Build a network of advocates and supporters who have seen what you are capable of. Work hard to meet new people who can help advise you.

And when you’ve networked—don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. Recently, the President of NYSE wrote a piece for Fortune Magazine called “I owe every job I’ve ever had to networking.” Men traditionally tend to be much more comfortable asking for help. You owe it to yourself to be aggressive and brazen in building out your network. Don’t get shy because someone has a big title.

It can be so difficult to try to manage a day job, family, and out-of-work responsibilities together with the third leg of the stool—which is continuous advancement of your career. However, if you keep a regular focus on these five things, you will surely move ahead quickly and achieve that big dream.

Fairygodboss

Fairygodboss is committed to improving the workplace and lives of women.
Join us by reviewing your employer!
 

Related Community Discussions

  • Has anyone ever used a good career coach for how to transition into a different industry? I've just come back from maternity leave after baby #2 and feeling really overwhelmed with my job. I love my company and I used to love my work but now I feel like I just can't handle it all and maybe it's my profession that's the issue (I'm a corporate lawyer)

  • Has anyone ever used a good career coach for how to transition into a different industry? I've just come back from maternity leave after baby #2 and feeling really overwhelmed with my job. I love my company and I used to love my work but now I feel like I just can't handle it all and maybe it's my profession that's the issue (I'm a corporate lawyer)

  • I'm thinking about not coming back to work after my maternity leave -- even if I have to pay some of the pay I receive during leave. Nobody has asked me about whether I'm going to come back (they are just acting as if this will definitely happen when we talk about longer term projects) but I feel hugely guilty....and sometimes I think I should just quit now. Anyone been in this situation? any advice?

  • My company recently put in a nursing room/mother's room but it was designed in a way that the majority of the room is fogged glass - except one strip that runs right at sitting level that was left as transparent glass. I don't think it was done intentionally (men designed the room) but I now have to put up sheets of paper to cover the transparent strip of glass. Any idea on how to address this with my (all male) management team?

  • I recently had a child and worked out an arrangement with my manager to work from home 1-2 days/week. I'm the only female on my team and none of the co-workers have a similar arrangement. There have been discreet comments made about my schedule (mostly in a joking way) but it still feels uncomfortable. Has anyone else ran into this?

Find Out

What are women saying about your company?

Click Here

Share This

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Share with Friends
  • Share Anonymously

5 Things Working Moms Can Do To Keep Moving Their Careers Forward

5 Things Working Moms Can Do To Keep Moving Their Careers Forward

Being a working mother is all about balancing priorities. Sometimes home and work responsibilities have us running so hard that we forget to take a step...

Being a working mother is all about balancing priorities.

Sometimes home and work responsibilities have us running so hard that we forget to take a step back to think about the big picture, and specifically, to examine what we’re doing to move our career forward. Moreover, motherhood sometimes causes us to re-think our goals and desires.

If you realize you’re not learning anymore or engaged to your full potential, it’s usually a clear sign that you should push yourself to start seeking out the next level.

What is the next level? And how should you get to it?

No matter what the competing priorities, these are five steps you should make time to think about so your career continues to advance.

1. Identify your goal and dream big.

Take the time to really hone in on your long-term career goal. Where would you like to be in 20 years? Don’t worry—you’re not etching it in stone. You may decide to change this goal the next time you do your career planning. But it’s important to have a clear idea of your destination so you can plot out your journey.

Whatever your career goal, make sure you answer the call of your highest ambitions in selecting it. As Richard Branson says, “if you’re dreams don’t scare you, they are too small.” Often, women can talk themselves out of their highest goals—suffering from what has been called a “confidence gap.”

Don’t fall victim. Be your own supporter, not a critic.

2. Create a roadmap for your career, and do your research.

Once you have identified a clear and strong goal, map out a potential path that you could get you there. Again, this will most definitely change. But just like you would do for any business project, a plan-of-action is critical.

How can you get from Point A (where you stand today) to Point B i.e., your career goal? What skills or experiences will you need? What relationships will you need to build? To figure out the path that might get you where you want to go, take to the time to learn how others have succeeded. Use research tools—such as Levo or Fairygodboss—to be connected to successful women how have achieved in similar roles and fields so you can get a realistic picture of what traits are valued in your dream job.

And don’t be afraid to enlist a career coach. It’s absolutely a worthwhile investment. You can find one that’s right for you online, using a site like The Muse or Daily Worth.

3. Solicit honest feedback about your strengths and shortcomings.

It can be difficult and humbling to ask for feedback and here about where you need to improve. However, everyone needs to improve at something. Collecting honest and direct feedback from your boss or someone else you respect will certainly help you strengthen your value proposition as a professional.

So don’t be shy. Think of it as working out at the gym. It can feel painful...but the only way to get stronger—or in this case better at your profession—is to figure out where the weakness lies and work to improve it.

4. Read a lot—get smart about your “specialty”.

Find an emerging, topical area of your industry our business that interests you and get super-smart about it. Become an expert. For example, if you work in marketing, carve out a specific vehicle or social platform and become fluent in it. That way, you can become known as the person who knows everything about x.These days, there are lots of great online resources that allow you to take digital courses in many areas. For example, check out General Assembly for courses on everything from web development to data science to digital marketing.

Be loud and proactive about what you’ve learned. Tweet about it. Blog about it. Schedule meetings with leaders you admire and present your findings to them about it. Figure out a way to use your speciality to help drive your company’s performance.

This will help heighten your reputation around the company and get you noticed when you otherwise might not have been.

5. Network a lot.

Whoever said “getting ahead is all about who you know” was absolutely right. Build a network of advocates and supporters who have seen what you are capable of. Work hard to meet new people who can help advise you.

And when you’ve networked—don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. Recently, the President of NYSE wrote a piece for Fortune Magazine called “I owe every job I’ve ever had to networking.” Men traditionally tend to be much more comfortable asking for help. You owe it to yourself to be aggressive and brazen in building out your network. Don’t get shy because someone has a big title.

It can be so difficult to try to manage a day job, family, and out-of-work responsibilities together with the third leg of the stool—which is continuous advancement of your career. However, if you keep a regular focus on these five things, you will surely move ahead quickly and achieve that big dream.

Fairygodboss

Fairygodboss is committed to improving the workplace and lives of women.
Join us by reviewing your employer!
 

thumbnail 1 summary