Does Your Career Need a Spa Day? 9 Tips
I’ve been called “The Confidence Guardian” for women. That’s probably because, with the Hot Mommas Project, I’ve found my calling. Teaching and empowering women (with actual measurable improvements) is a big rush. I love to see women walk out of a talk and say, “I can do this.” What is the Hot Mommas Project? We enable women around the world to share their stories (aka case studies) in a teachable format -- from drop-outs who’ve survived major trauma, to a princess (literally) who runs a foundation. And, somehow, when they share -– they’re just women, helping each other. We’re all the same. It’s a digital democracy, with a heart and actual results impacting our self-confidence.
So if you’re a young woman just starting her career or a veteran who needs a little “career spa day,” here’s a list of action items. (And, yes, I myself have done EVERY SINGLE ONE.)
- Mentors. They are a Must Must Must. The Hot Mommas Project secret unpublished research shows that five is the magic number. People with five or more mentors demonstrate higher drive, have increased perceptions of success, and ascend higher. Make this part of your “Top Three” career priority list at all times.
- ASK. Did you know women don’t ask? And we’re not so great at marketing ourselves. There are studies to substantiate this. Men initiate negotiations 2 to 3 times more often than women do. ASK.
- Define success. If you’re on a project, working with a client, or reporting to your boss, be sure you’re crystal clear about the definition of success. It’s still about the ability to deliver results and to play well with others. No amount of technology, flex work, or changes in the workplace will alter this reality.
- Be different. Are you just like the person in the cubicle to the right of you or left of you? This is okay for the first couple of years. But, you need to have a plan to be UNIQUE and INDISPENSABLE. Want to pick up your kids at 4? If you’re UNIQUE and INDISPENSABLE, your boss is more likely to let you do it.
- Do a value spreadsheet. I teach my students at the George Washington University School of Business to create a value spreadsheet around themselves. You should be able to walk into a negotiation for your salary with quantitative information about what you’ve done and improved. If you don’t do it, who will?
- Do more with less. Women have to be better with their time because we have less of it. Just a fact. So, get the maximum benefit for the least amount of time. All-day stuffing envelopes, or spending two hours per month on a board? Just something to think about. Okay, stop thinking, you’re wasting time.
- Get your game on. The ability to handle massive amounts of stuff and not get overwhelmed is critical. Sometimes, it helps if you wear a cape and a crown to entertain yourself while doing this. Usually, people acquire this skill one of two ways: They’re born with it, or they’re forced into it.
- Tame your brain. Be incredibly clear and focused about what you’re trying to accomplish. Someone wants to talk with me about a Hot Mommas show (this actually happened). This is not going to happen right now. I am focused on producing measurable increases in self-confidence for women and girls through my teaching both in and out of my classes. That’s it. So my “Top Three” career priority list right now is curriculum, seminars and books. What are your big three?
- Superior delegation skills. I’ve spent many years perfecting my delegation skills. But first you need systems, so you can hand off items. I’m always improving systems for everything from my kids’ papers from school to registration processes for our boot camps. Delegation is at home and at work, and is only possible with trust. So focus on trust, systems, then delegation.
Kathy Korman Frey is the founder of HotMommasProject.org and part-time faculty at the George Washington University School of Business, Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence where she teaches the award winning “Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership.” In January of 2010 HotMommasProject.org became the world’s largest women’s case study library. Learn more.