We know. GirlBoss, both the term and the movement, can be divisive. Some see it as a trivialization of women and the work they do while others see it as a celebration of the ways in which women kill it in pursuit of their career goals every day. We mean it here in the latter sense (the sense in which it was coined) — a celebration of female collaboration, creation and success.
With that out of the way, let’s look at five steps to grab hold of your career and navigate it on your terms.
1. Figure Out What Floats Your Boat
For some, deciding on a passion in life is easy. They’ve known it from a young age and they’ve never wavered. For the rest of us, it may take some searching. Ask yourself and be honest with your answers to get a feel for what lights you up:
- What would I do with my time if I didn’t have to work?
- What can I read/watch videos about and never get bored?
- How would people in your life describe you?
- On what topics do people come to you for advice?
- What things seem to come naturally to you?
2. Look into Your Crystal Ball
If any of those questions conjured visions of a future business career, go with them. What do you see yourself doing on a day-to-day basis? How do you see these things working to your strengths? Who would your dream clientele be? Would you want to own your own business or work with someone else? How would you bring in profits? Use these questions to fine-tune a solid vision.
3. Develop Specific, Achievable, Quantifiable Goals
Once you have a vision for your #girlboss takeover, you need some goals to keep you on track. Here’s how to set them:
- Dream big, but be realistic. You want these goals to challenge you but not overwhelm you
- Set goals that are quantifiable. Instead of saying “make some new connections,” say, “contact three people on LinkedIn.
- Set goals that are timely. Make deadlines for your goals to make them clear, grounded and urgent.
4. Work on Yourself
While you’re working on achieving these goals, make sure you’re working on yourself, too. That might mean going for an MBA or some other business degree or it might mean grabbing self-help books and working on your soft skills. Building confidence, learning to work on a team, understanding the right ways to communicate with others and mastering the art of problem-solving are the most important factors in a successful career (even more than know-how or book knowledge in your field).
5. Grab a Mentor and Don’t Let Go
Find someone you admire or someone who’s gotten where you’d like to go (or both) and latch onto them. Be a sponge. Listen to how their story progressed. Ask for advice and listen to it. Entrepreneurship might mean forging your own path but that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone.
In fact, look for allies wherever you can find them — friends, family members, fellow business people, members of Facebook groups — because they’ll be your network, your shoulders to cry on, your pools of wisdom and your invaluable support system.