What We Wish We Would Have Known


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As a female professional, what do you wish you had known as a young professional about to enter the workforce for the first time? What did it take you 10, 15, 20... years to figure out? Document and graphics developed by Melissa Robertson. Content developed by Melissa Robertson and Kelley Stier

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What We Wish We Would Have Known

  1. 1. What We Wish We Would Have Known…Kelley Stier, Associate Director of Student Services, Krannert School of ManagementMelissa Robertson, Area Coordinator, University ResidencesThe Art of Personal Branding● Consistency● Social Media - Twitter vs. Facebook vs. Instagramvs.....● Professional pictures● Lift up others as part of your personal brand - be seenas an inspiration - it’s  not  all  about  you● What you put out there online should reflect who youare  “IRL”  - when people meet you first the first time in person, they should know what toexpect● Keep your resume and LinkedIn profiles in sync - should be updated jointlyThe Benefits of Building Relationships –both online and IRL● Its takes time and effort to build relationships - you get what youput into it● Networking  isn’t  simply  showing  up  at  events and shaking hands -engage, find commonalities, have interesting bits of information toshare (not just the weather!)● FOLLOW UP!! Send an email, a personal note, schedule a phonecall.    Don’t  just  take  someone’s  contact  information  and  walk  away.Learning from Other Women● Find women in roles you aspire to hold in the future and build a relationship● Ask for advice in specific areas where they excel. Example - are you often the onlyfemale in a meeting? Having trouble finding your voice? Seek out another seasonedfemale who excels in this area - find out what she learned to be successful! She will beflattered.● Identify someone you would like to mentor you and ask for them to do so. Get specific.Let him/her know your goals and ask that he/she hold you accountable. You need toseek a mentor out - Be proactive.
  2. 2. Advocating for Other Women● What are you doing to help lift and support other women?● Are you engaging in conversations on how you are each navigating this time in your life?● How are you paying it forward?Salary Negotiating● Would a man negotiate? If yes, you should too!● Employers expect you to negotiate! Often times, theemployer is looking forward to this process.● There is a delicate balance between demanding andasking timidly - find what works for you - practice beforestarting the negotiation conversation.● Ask for the things that are really important to you - thismay be money, your own office, immediate 401Kcontributions, flexible hours on specific days, professional development money -whatever is important to you!● Have specific reasons why the employer should agree to your terms. For example -“based  on  my  experience  in  the  area  of  XYZ,  I  will  produce  work  capable  of  earning  (insert  dollar  amount)”  or  “My  professional goals include becoming an expert in the areaof XYZ. One step in meeting this goal is to present at conferences (relevant to theposition) around the country. I would like to ask for (insert dollar amount) professionaldevelopment funds to travel and present  on  this  topic  for  our  company.”● Do your researchApologies as a Woman● Apologize  if  you  have  hurt  someone’s  feelings● Apologize if/when there was intent behind a mistake, missed deadline, etc● Do not apologize for every single small mistake or perceived mistake - just acknowledgeyou have learned and will do better next time - then do so.● When making an apology at work - leave  it  simple.    “I  apologize  for  the  position  I  put  you  in”  or  something  similar.    Don’t  gravel.  Take Time to Learn Your Strengths and Passions● Be able to articulate these and how they work in your life atwork and personally● Take StrengthsFinder and spend time with the results● Seek out or volunteer for projects where you can utilizeyour strengthsFinding Happiness● If  you’re  not  liking  where  your life is headed or what opportunities are presented to youcurrently - only YOU have the power to fix it.● We all run into bumps in the road - how you handle and navigate those bumps willdetermine the outcome.● Learn daily.
  3. 3. Notes from Other Women….Question Asked: “Ok another thought provoking question today! As a femaleprofessional, what do you wish you had known as a young professional about toenter the workforce for the first time? What did it take you 10, 15, 20... years tofigure  out?”Responses:“Dont be held back from applying for a job if you dont meet 1-2 of the job posting requirements.Reach for the stars - you deserve it!”“I wish I would have had a better grasp of my values and how important value alignment is withan organization you are considering working for.”“Also wish that I had known the difference between mentorship and advocacy and what goodquestions to ask to be able to assess how well an organization nourishes advocacy, specificallyamong women.”“Likeability trumps almost everything & you dont know what u dont know”“The importance of connecting on campus and off w/mentors & women who are currently whereyou want to in the future w/ your career.”“Always take lunch!”“The importance of navigating the culture and politics of the place at which you work. Also theunderstanding that a supervisor does not automatically make that person a mentor. Sometimesmentors need to be seeked out.”“It is easier to break than to build a relationship. invest the time early on and it will help whenyou make inevitable mistakes.”“No one walks in your shoes, so your journey cant look like anyone else’s but yours. Whereverit takes you it is okay.”“Everyones path is different. Advocate for yourself as you would for others. And enjoy thejourney even the hard parts.”“Know the important people, places and politics in workplace.”
  4. 4. Book RecommendationsThe Happiness ProjectGretchen RubinQuiet: The Power of Introverts in aWorld That Cant Stop TalkingSusan CainI  Thought  it  Was  Just  Me  (But  it  Isn’t)Brené BrownPlay Like a Man, Win Like a WomanGail EvansBrag! The Art of Tooting YourOwn Horn without Blowing ItPeggy Klaus