“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.”
— Sheryl Sandberg
It’s worth remembering that it’s the things that scare us that are usually the ones worth pursuing. If it’s within our comfort zone it won’t move us forward. To find out how you can succeed, read the following report “Calling Women over 40! Why You Are Stuck In Your Career And What you Can Do About It” by Claudia Crawley & Ghazala Faizi.
Gender stereotypes come into play from early childhood and by the time women are in a career, these stereotypes become self-fulfilling prophecies where men are expected to be ambitious but women are penalised if they are. Men are expected to get leadership positions and earn more and women are expected to be led and earn less. When women are assertive or decisive they are called ‘bossy’ or ‘aggressive’ whereas men are praised for such behaviour.
Caprino further argues that many women, despite being the main breadwinner, hesitate to invest in themselves to further their career as they feel they have to defer to their partner/husband to make the decision for them. They feel guilty spending on themselves and not on their children, parents, home, etc. She says she was shocked at the numbers of women who wanted to join career programs but did not in the end make the commitment. This is completely different to the men who approach her who say ‘yes’ quickly to working together.
Why do women lack the confidence, the power and the authority to make their own decisions about their own growth? Caprino exhorts women,“When it comes to personal and professional development (or anything in life for that matter), you need to make yourself the highest authority of your life, not your spouse, your sister, your boss, your partner”.
Women need to take more risks in the career decisions they make as not taking risks comes at a heavy cost. What used to be a career ladder is now more of a labyrinth where women have to find out what the unwritten rules of the organization are. You will need to show resilience and persistence as the journey through the jungle gym is anything but smooth for most women. Coaching can help women deal with this journey, mastering mindset issues and enabling women to take on challenges and stretch themselves.
Planning your career may seem a daunting and difficult task, but you don’t need to do it alone. Claudia Crawley and I are running a two day immersive workshop in September for women like you, over 40, ambitious and determined to do the high level work you know you are eminently capable of.
Find out more, click here.