Exactly one century ago, women got the right to vote in this country. Now, the year is 2020, and it's up to you to create the change you want to see in this world. One surefire way to do that is by cultivating a career for yourself that inspires and empowers you.
Here are eight standards every job opportunity should meet before you apply for it this year.
The job should pay you a fair wage — equal to the market standard and to your peers. So do your research to make sure that the job for which you're applying has the budget to pay you a fair wage, and do your homework to understand what a fair wage would look like in the first place.
The job should offer you the benefits you need, like health insurance and dental and vision if you need it. It should offer you paid parental leave if you need it. It should offer you paid sick leave for when you need it. It should you offer you a 401(k) plan that you need to save for your retirement. And it should offer you whatever other benefits that you will need for your lifestyle.
The job should offer you the benefits that you want, as well. After all, why settle for anything less? The least you can do is try to negotiate for benefits like paid time off, paid holidays to spend with your family, a gym membership, telecommuting options, commuting cost reimbursements, professional development opportunities, covered IVF costs and other benefits that women actually want. You may not get everything you want, but you can at least aim for it.
If you commute to a full-time, five-day-a-week job, you spend about 4.35 hours a week and over 200 hours (nearly nine days) per year commuting. That's because the average commute is about 26.1 minutes, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That's a whole lot of time you spend in the car or on the train or bus. So your job should be within a reasonable commute from your home — or at least in an area to which you're willing to move.
Why take a job that's going to pigeon hole you or keep you feeling stuck for years to come? Go for a job that offers a promising, lucrative, fulfilling future. Opportunities keep people motivated, and you need to know they exist in order to stay inspired to do your job and do it well.
Diversity is incredibly important, and you should work for a company that represents people of all different walks of life — different genders, races, sexualities, ages, faiths and overall backgrounds. Because a company that's fair to everyone, regardless of these factors, is a company that has respect for its people and is contributing to the change the world needs.
You don't need a job you love, and you might not need a job that pays you super well. But you do need a reason for your job, or you won't want to work it. So whether that's a job that feeds your passion or feeds your family, find what works for you.
At the end of the day, the job should motivate you in some way. Whether its your boss who is an amazing mentor or your colleagues who are super fun to work alongside or the company's leadership who inspires you, the job should be one that motivates you to work hard. It doesn't need to be a job with which you stick forever, and maybe it's a job that motivates you to start your own business or to apply for that other company for which you've always wanted to work; whatever the case, this job should propel you forward in some way.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreport and Facebook.
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