As a woman, sometimes it feels difficult to succeed in a career world that is dominated by men. Years ago, women had to fight for rights that men already had. Even the opportunity for literacy was limited.

Through unity and action, women have fought for and won their right to autonomy, freedom, education and so much more. However, the struggle for advancement and opportunities in the workplace are still being fought by individual women.  These women, strive hard each day to be taken seriously as leaders, and for equal opportunities within their industries.

A 2012 survey by  International Business Report, found that, less than one in ten industries are employing female CEOs and globally- only one in five women are given senior management positions. This survey is indicative of a larger issue regarding women in the workplace.

Despite women possessing some of the most valued attributes in business. It appears that they are given less opportunities to succeed in the workplace in comparison to their male counterparts.

Persistence is often valued as the best attribute to help women get ahead.  However, it’s not the only attribute.  Here are a few techniques that you can use to reach your career goals.

Passion – Passion is anything that engulfs you with enthusiasm. Unlike being persistent for the sake of achievement, passion fuels your desire to succeed.

Anytime I teach someone to start a blog, I insist they find something they’re passionate about.  Why?  Because if they’re only in it for the money, they won’t stick it out! It’s important to allow passion to motivate your interests over status or monetary gain.

Benchmarks – Benchmarks are set of standards that are used as a reference point. It’s common for businesses to set benchmarks, but it’s also smart to set them as individuals. The best way to set your own personal benchmark, is to define the goals you want to achieve and create a time in which they will be accomplished.  You can then set yourself benchmarks to determine if you’re on track.  If you have no idea what kind of goals to set in order to place your benchmarks, look to someone you admire outside of your workspace that is bigger than you, your competitors and your counterparts.  You have to ask yourself, “What are the characteristics and attributes that I want to develop?”. Create your own growth and development plan based on your bigger goals and focus your energy there.

I personally look up to Tim Ferris, I think he’s a brilliant business man, and I admire his willingness to listen to new ideas, his leadership skills, and his adventure-driven lifestyle.  All of these attributes are ones I’m personally working to develop. Leave me a comment and let me know who you look up to.

Innate abilities – As individuals, we all have unique abilities that are ours alone. Start focusing on these natural skills and talents and hone them to your greatest advantage. Once you’ve discovered what these abilities are, it will become easier for you to create strategies that are successful for your own advancement.

An innate ability that I failed to develop until I was in my mid-twenties is that of creativity.  Creativity is something that is not often praised in the white collar business world, nor was it particularly encouraged at home.  However, my sense of creativity now has opened up a whole world of opportunities, advancement and even brought more joy to my business. Almost all innate skills can be used in some way in your workplace.  So don’t be afraid to develop them and try them out at work.

Keep on Learning – The only way for you to become better is to keep on learning. Working while trying to attend classes or seminars may not be achievable, but there are other ways of learning. Youtube is full of instructional videos, audio books are readily available for your next commute and online platforms like Lynda provide courses where you can learn anything in your free time. Once you’ve made the decision to make learning a daily habit, there is no way to go but up. Garnering knowledge and putting that knowledge into action will help develop your personal growth.

I personally listen to audio books and podcasts daily while doing tasks like cooking and cleaning.  I’ve learned how to say the alphabet in Japanese and the proper way to wear a bobby pin. The resources for learning are endless!

Spend More Time Doing – Have you ever tried mountain climbing? From the bottom looking up, it seems impossible to reach the top.  But if you’ve climbed before, you know that it really doesn’t take as long as you’d think to reach the top. Looking at your goals can be overwhelming. It’s important to keep an eye on them so you know where you are and you make sure you reach them. But don’t obsess over them. Spend more of your time doing what needs to be done in order for you to get to the top.

I spent two years talking about, thinking about, and researching starting a blog, instead of writing one.  Once I started writing I started seeing results, but up until then, the planning, the research and everything else that I did, really didn’t get me very far. I wish I had jumped in and started by focusing on doing rather than planning.  At this point, I’d be two years ahead of the game.

Some women desire to be leaders and business CEOs, yet they are still often scrutinized in comparison to men who seek the same roles. However, women are known to approach problems creatively, collaborate more freely, and most importantly; are willing to take responsibility for shortfalls and make up for it. Do not give up striving for your goals and dreams.

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