Standing out in the workplace – Shine, girl!
As women of colour, we often feel that odds are stacked up against us in the workplace in terms of standing out and also career advancement. You may have just started out in your career, or already well established, dominating in your respective career field, however quite frankly, we still keep hearing the same messages aimed at discouraging women of colour to shine in the workplace. I’m sure you have all heard the common ‘angry black woman’ myth or seeing first-hand boardrooms dominated by men or even stories related to awkward workplace politics.
I love all things motivation and inspiration and I have shared 6 helpful tips to help you stand out, shine your brilliance and advance in the workplace!
You are most probably aware of the adage know thyself. Well, nothing rings truer than remaining true to your brilliance and knowing your worth. If you don’t know who you are, you can’t market or position yourself effectively for success. Michelle Obama put this perfectly ‘One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals. And so when I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don’t invest any energy in them, because I know who I am” **Snaps fingers**
In the workplace, the key to staying relevant is by improving your skills and adding value. Multi award-winning actress Taraji P. Henson did ‘not ever want to get boxed in’ her career, hence why I believe it is so important to keep on growing, learning and adapting. Become so knowledgeable in your industry that your greatness cannot be denied. This is also helpful in helping set the standard as a subject matter in your industry which is also crucial to aid career advancement.
Promote your accomplishments and add value.
If you have done an amazing piece of work or even secured a new client I see no harm in telling others the great things you have done. Girl, if you don’t say anything how will anyone know how fabulous you are? Oprah Winfrey put it like this “The choice to be excellent begins with aligning your thoughts and words with the intention to require more from yourself.”
In order to stand out in the workplace, you must be confident in yourself and your abilities. Queen Bey said it herself ‘The most alluring thing a woman can have is confidence’. This is definitely a key to success and links in with tip #1. Confidence is all about having a self-assurance arising from an appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities. Did you know there is also a scientific link between productivity and confidence? Sis, take the time to cultivate confidence in your brilliance and how you will add value in any team you are placed in. Confidence is also a key trait that many recruiters look for in top performing candidates and usually a characteristic’s seen in employees who consistently secure promotions.
Ever heard of the saying, your network is your net worth? In order to succeed and get to the top of your game, networking is an important tool. These days, to get your foot in the door, it is not only by what you know but ever increasingly through who you know. Serial Entrepreneur and Mogul Oprah Winfrey also knows this is a top key to standing out in the workplace when she urged us to “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher”.
In today’s marketplace, we already know how tough it is to stand out. This is where personal branding comes in. It is all about how others perceive you. Anyone who is already successful in life knows that first impressions mean a lot in any circumstance and situation. Personal Branding Consultant & Entrepreneur, Bianca Miller notes that “you get seven seconds to make a first impression – so make yours a good one”. By finding your personal brand, you will then be able to communicate to others what your unique selling point is (everyone has at least one) and create a memorable experience in the minds of those you interact with and can also open doors to new opportunities!
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