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10 Career Tips for Ambitious Women


Are you ambitious and are you female? Then you're lucky that you live in this time and not a hundred or fifty years ago. Nothing stands in the way of your career. Or is it?

A bit of history

It's not even that long ago that women were supposed not to work. Certainly if a woman had children, she was expected to stay home to take care of both those children and the household. Only about fifty years ago, in the 1960s, women had to ask permission from their employer if they wanted to continue working after their marriage. And that permission was certainly not always given.

This came to an end after the second feminist wave in the 1960s and 1970s. It was slowly but surely realized that women could make a career for themselves and that they certainly didn't have to stop working when children came. The first feminist wave was also at the beginning of the twentieth century when, among other things, women's electoral rights were fought.

Situation now

A lot has changed in the meantime. But that there is already a completely equal situation between men and women, that's not the case now. Girls are now doing better than boys in education: they get higher grades and their education level is higher.

According to the Emancipation Monitor, which is prepared every two years by the Central Bureau of Statistics and the Social Cultural Planning Office, more than sixty percent of women are now economically independent - compared to eighty percent of men.

Young women on average have a higher hourly wage than men of the same age. This is mainly caused by the higher level of education. However, if you look at folds of about 35 years, they appear to earn less than men of that age. This is partly due to the fact that they often work part-time. This is partly due to the fact that they often work in the care and education sectors, whereby part-time work is the norm. In addition, they often start working less than men when they have children.

If you look across the board, the hourly wage of women is lower than that of men. It also appears that women are heavily under-represented at the top of the business world. Even though the number of women in management is increasing, their share is only fifteen percent.

Tips to make a career as a woman

If you're at the start of your career as a woman and you want to grow to the top, how do you do that? Don't have children and work (more than) full time? Or is it also possible in a different way? The tips below can help you on your way.

Tip 1: Choose the right study

You may not get much out of this tip when you have just graduated, but the fact remains that you're more likely to make a career in one sector than in another. Traditional women's professions such as secretary or primary education teacher offer less perspective than the originally male professions. Now you always have to choose a study that you think is fun and that suits you, but if you want to make a career, this is something to take into account.

Tip 2: Choose a job with career opportunities

When choosing a job, women seem to look primarily at the content of the job. In addition, they find the circumstances under which they have to work very important. Are there nice colleagues, is there a short travel distance and is it possible to work at home? They look less at the career opportunities. With a focused career planning you have to pay attention to that. Identify your end goal for yourself and see which path can lead to that. If that nice job with those nice colleagues doesn't fit in, then you might have to look a little further.

Tip 3: Don't be too modest

Just a cliche: women are generally too modest and don't have enough self-confidence. A woman says it fits that she can do something if she controls that for more than one hundred percent. A man is already calling that he can do something if he knows what it's about. Of course, this isn't always the case, but there is some truth in it.

So state (for example during an assessment interview ) what you can do and what you have achieved in the past period. Make sure you get the credits for that one project for which you have done so much and not that male colleague.

Tip 4: Make your ambitions clear

Another one: if you have ambitions, show them clearly. As a woman, don't think that 'they' (the management for example) can still see what you're performing and that they can therefore ask you for a vacant position that suits you. Take action yourself and simply state your ambitions. Register yourself for that vacant position, even if others (men) are asked to apply.

People tend to hire applicants who look like them. So men will think of other men in the first place to succeed them. So clearly show that you as a woman are also a serious candidate.

Tip 5: Occasionally jump into the deep

If you always keep doing the work that you can already do, you'll not get ahead. So if you're unsure whether you can handle the next job, just give it a try. You can deepen knowledge, you can acquire skills. So you get excited about the job description, go for it! Even if you don't meet all requirements!

Tip 6: Plan your route

Always keep your goal in mind and see how you can achieve that. In the position that you fulfill, you must look at what interests you the most. Take on additional tasks that seem interesting to you. By delving into a new topic, you can perhaps become an expert in that field. Even if you don't know what your end goal is, you can still get to a position that offers you possibilities.

Tip 7: Make agreements about the combination of work and children

A tricky point is of course the combination of career and children. Are you just a little on the road with your career and then you have children, then it's just a little different. The strange thing is that it usually doesn't prevent men from continuing their career. Think carefully beforehand how you'll arrange childcare. Are you going to work less, is your partner going to work less, do you use professional childcare or does a grandparent live around the corner? Or a combination of all this? In any case, make good agreements that are clear to all parties (including your employer).

Tip 8: Build your network

Having a good network is very important throughout your career. Build on this consciously. Infiltrate the men's networks in your sector and also look for women's networks for support and tips. Invest time and effort in these networks. They may not deliver directly, but may prove to be of great value in the long term.

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