“On Sunday night, or some other quiet time, glance at your calendar, and set goals for what you’d like to accomplish in your professional and personal life over the next 168 hours. Schedule these high-value activities in. Once Monday morning hits, you’re in a firefight. So figure out how you’ll advance your troops, rather than just hunkering down.”
What traits do today’s prominent female leaders share? Let’s take a look:
Effective role models: A recentCNN opinion pieceabout how to have more women likeSheryl Sandberg concludes that it is the prominence of such women that inspires others to be like them: “We can create more Sandbergs by surrounding ourselves with confident, outspoken women.” Sandberg herself actively works to encourage others by running a monthly salon with talks by inspirational women. The more role models we have across all industries, the more likely it is that the female leaders of the future will be inspired.
Mentoring—at all levels: If you can identify opportunities and encourage women early on then they will be able to fulfill their potential throughout their careers. Some of the most prominent women had great mentors—and they are often now working as mentors to the next generation themselves.
Confidence: Confidence can mean a world of difference between a woman who is able to live her dreams and one who is not—so often a talented woman is held back through lack of confidence. The former U.K. prime minister Margaret Thatcher was famous for her confidence and iron will—and for her slogan“The lady’s not for turning.” Inan articlefor the MBA@UNC, media pioneer Arianna Huffington cites lack of confidence as “a killer to success for women. In order to advance their careers, women need to be comfortable seeing themselves as qualified leaders and risk takers.”
“It seems that interviewers like to have each day’s ratings balance out. When an interviewer sees 3 or 4 good candidates in a row, they become concerned that they are giving too many high ratings. So, if another good candidate comes walking through the door, they get a lower rating just so that the ratings for the day are not uniformly high.”
A recentGirls in Tech/Facebook meetupabout learning from your career mistakes was full of actionable pieces of advice, particularly on finding and keeping good mentors. Here are some of the best quotes of the night:
On the importance of having mentors:
"Build a network of women. You don’t have to be on your own." -AT&T’s Amanda Stent
"Have a strong network both at work and outside of work. Talking about work issues helps you get through them." -Catherine Hui
On choosing your mentors:
"Do your homework in approaching a mentor - don’t ask someone just based on reputation" -Tweeted by @AmyVernon
"If you don’t feel comfortable with your mentor, maybe that person isn’t the right mentor. " -Bloomberg’s Catherine Hui
On being mentored:
"If you go to therapy, you don’t lie to your shrink. Same philosophy applies to mentors. Be honest with them." - Nikki Stevens (@drnikki)
Who are your mentors? How did you find them? How important is it to you to have a mentor?
(Photos by M. Cecelia Bittner and Jessica Hullinger)
On Friday, May 24, at 2:00 p.m. EST senior writer Anya Kamenetz will be moderating a discussion with Glen Hiemstra, founder of Futurist.com, about how work will evolve over the next several decades both in America and globally.
Fast Company seeks a paid intern for the Summer 2013 session. Responsibilities include fact-checking all areas of the magazine, contributing supplementary reporting to features, pitching and writing for front of book sections, with opportunities to contribute to Fast Company web properties including Co.Design, Co.Exist, and Co.Create.
Candidates should be college graduates (or have graduated by the first week of June) who are motivated and organized, with a demonstrated interest in magazine journalism. Fact-checking experience preferred but not required.
To apply, send a cover letter, resume, and a selection of clips to Jillian Goodman at email@example.com. The deadline to apply is May 15, with the internship starting no later than the first week of June. Applicants should be prepared to work full time, five days per week. We regret that we are unable to respond to all applications, and not all applicants will be interviewed. Please, no phone calls.
“Remember: CEOs can, and often do, start in the mailroom. You may have to accept a lower position, but you’re better off getting your foot in the door with a job that you are somewhat overqualified for at a company you are passionate about, than biding your time with jobs that have very little upward mobility.”