What We Wish We Would Have Known...


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Presentation given with Kelley Stier on career advice for paraprofessional women about to enter the job field for the first time.

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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 Management Melissa Robertson, Area Coordinator, University ResidencesThe Art of Personal Branding ● Consistency ● Social Media - Twitter vs. Facebook vs. Instagram vs..... ● Professional pictures ● Lift up others as part of your personal brand - be seen as an inspiration - it’s not all about you ● What you put out there online should reflect who you are “IRL” - when people meet you first the first time in person, they should know what to expect ● 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 you put into it ● Networking isn’t simply showing up at events and shaking hands - engage, find commonalities, have interesting bits of information to share (not just the weather!) ● FOLLOW UP!! Send an email, a personal note, schedule a phone call. 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 only female in a meeting? Having trouble finding your voice? Seek out another seasoned female who excels in this area - find out what she learned to be successful! She will be flattered. ● 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 to seek 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, the employer is looking forward to this process. ● There is a delicate balance between demanding and asking timidly - find what works for you - practice before starting the negotiation conversation. ● Ask for the things that are really important to you - this may be money, your own office, immediate 401K contributions, 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 area of XYZ. One step in meeting this goal is to present at conferences (relevant to the position) around the country. I would like to ask for (insert dollar amount) professional development 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 acknowledge you 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 at work and personally ● Take StrengthsFinder and spend time with the results ● Seek out or volunteer for projects where you can utilize your strengthsFinding Happiness ● If you’re not liking where your life is headed or what opportunities are presented to you currently - only YOU have the power to fix it. ● We all run into bumps in the road - how you handle and navigate those bumps will determine 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 Recommendations The Happiness Project Gretchen Rubin Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Cant Stop Talking Susan Cain I Thought it Was Just Me (But it Isn’t) Brené Brown Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman Gail Evans Brag! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing It Peggy Klaus