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UR LIFE: 5 Career Rules Every Woman Should Break

Written by Anna Crowe

We’ve all found ourselves in a job where we work long hours, but are you where you want to be? Do you have the salary you deserve? Are you gaining the skills you need if this job isn’t around forever?

Feeling stuck is one of the top causes of job dissatisfaction, but there’s good news: you’re in complete control. Let’s break some rules ladies and be unapologetic in what you want your career to look like. Now let’s move up the ladder, shall we?

Rule #1 Not Knowing Your Worth

In this economy we’re told so often, “just be grateful to have a job,” yet there are few of us doing cartwheels in our current job. Bumping up your income can often help increase that happiness at work factor. It’s your right as a future employee to negotiate your salary. Don’t feel limited. Ask for it all. You might get it.

If it seems uncomfortable to negotiate, take a cue from Sheryl Sandberg, of “Lean In” fame. She didn’t take Mark Zuckerberg’s first offer to come to Facebook and opted to negotiate. She did this so her future boss would feel that he had to push to get her and value what expertise she could bring to the company. And her career definitely isn’t hurting because of it. There are also eLearning classes available here. These really helped me learn how to get what I really want.

Rule #2 Believing Women Can’t Have it All

The idea that you may have missed your window for success is B.S. It’s not a question of “can I have it all?” It should be more the question of, “why not?”

Pop star, ballerina, veterinarian, you can be some things, or you can be them all. It’s your choice. You call the shots!

Vera Wang was actually a professional ice skater before making her next career move as iconic fashion designer. After failing to qualify for the Olympics, Wang moved in to the fashion industry through Vogue and eventually created her own fashion line. But she never left her love of skating, she still continues to enjoy the sport and has designed costumes for women on the U.S. Olympics figure skating team. Talk about having it all.

Rule #3 Staying Away From Politics

Interoffice and corporate politics are enough to keep you from ever advancing within your particular company. Getting involved in the politics of the office isn’t about being sneaky; it’s about strategically putting yourself in a favorable position to get what you want from your career.

Find a mentor in your department, make your ideas heard in presentations and meetings, and take on projects where you can shine. Getting ahead in is no longer about seniority. Whoever has the most skin in the game and is doing the best work for the company is going to get ahead.

Rule #4 Playing It Safe

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, CEO of WellPoint, Angela Braly said, “Be open to opportunity and take risks. In fact, take the worst, the messiest, the most challenging assignment you can find, and then take control.”

If you’re not happy pushing papers at your 9 to 5, do something about it. Take a risk. Stop holding yourself back. Keep working hard and dreaming big. A friend of mine, Leah Rise, recently moved from the U.S. to Australia to follow dream. She always tells me “Open your eyes and jump; why close your eyes…you’ll miss the journey.”

Rule #5 Over Thinking Your Femininity

According to Cosmopolitan magazine, 80 percent of the time when you look at someone, the first thing you see is their eyes, and if hair is in the way it can signal that you’re hiding something. So naturally Cosmo suggests getting bangs could help your career. Honestly, we don’t think bangs are going to help you find your “dream job.”

We personally think that you should have a hairstyle, wardrobe and fashion sense that makes you feel confident and showcases your professional fashion sense.

Grab the reins of your career and keep chasing those NASA dreams! Be gutsy, be bold and strive to become the best in your field. We promise you won’t regret where these changes will take you. Go get ‘em!

mepicFull disclosure: Anna is sometimes lazy and eats strawberry frosted donuts with sprinkles. So, during Anna’s 9 to 5 she puts a blazer on calls herself a freelancer / content strategist – if it’s writing, she’s into it. Anna also sits with her dog, Norman, to watch Golden Girls’ reruns. Say hello @annaleacrowe.

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